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Rajinikanth's Effigy Burnt in Chennai During Protests Against 'Political Entry'

Rajinikanth’s statements during a recent meet-and-greet with fans fuelled a years-long buzz about his debut in electoral politics

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:May 22, 2017, 2:05 PM IST
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Chennai: Protesters opposed to Rajinikanth’s speculated entry into politics burnt the actor’s effigy outside his Poes Garden residence on Monday. Some of the protesters, belonging to fringe group Tamizhar Munnetra Padai, were detained by police.

Rajinikanth’s statements during a recent meet-and-greet with fans fuelled a years-long buzz about his debut in electoral politics. “The current political situation is such that the system does not think about the people. It does nothing for them. That has to change,” the actor had said on Friday.

I have responsibilities and work, same as you. Let’s do that... but when the ultimate war comes, we will all see," the 66-year-old told his fans.

ALSO READ | BJP Has an 'Appropriate Place' for Rajinikanth, says Nitin Gadkari

The following day, talking to CNN-News18, Rajini said that he would join politics only when the “time is right”.

No sooner did the actor make these statement, speculation shifted to whether he would float his own party and join the BJP. The latter has sent out strong feelers to the popular actor, with Union road transport Nitin Gadkari saying the party has an “appropriate place” for him.

He is welcome in politics and it is my request to him to think about the BJP. There is an appropriate place for him in the BJP,” he told CNN-News18.

ALSO READ | From Baba to Jaya: When Rajinikanth Flirted With Politics

"You can't imagine the kind of support given to Rajinikanth in south India. He is a good human being. And he is Marathi. When you enter his house, you can see a big photo of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Gadkari said.

Rajinikanth was born to a Marathi family in Karnataka. His real name is Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, something Gadkari’s party colleague Subramanian Swamy has been too happy to point out, saying Rajini would be a “disaster” in politics.

“Swamy ji has got his independent opinion. I don’t want to comment on them. But I feel BJP is an appropriate party for Rajinikanth,” Gadkari said.

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