Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth on Friday said the BJP had not invited him to join the party, but insisted efforts were being made to paint him "saffron", the idealogical colour the national party is associated with.
"There is an attempt to saffronise me like there is an attempt to saffronise Thiruvalluvar. Both Thiruvalluvar and I won’t get embroiled in this controversy,” he told reporters with a laugh.
The comment, in light of the row over BJP Tamil Nadu releasing photos of ancient Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar dressed in saffron, is being seen by many as an attempt to end speculation that he may collaborate with the BJP as it looks to make inroads into the state.
“They are trying to colour me as a BJP man but that is definitely not true. Media is trying to colour me as a BJP man but I’m not like that. I am the one who will decide whether to join a party,” he added.
Speculation that the actor would finally enter active politics, potentially with the BJP, had increased in recent weeks, with the BJP's state wing actively persuading him to join their side.
The speculation reached fever pitch after he met former union minister and BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan a few days ago. But the 68-year-old clarified that he was not invited to join the saffron party during the meeting with Radhakrishnan and said he would not be swayed by the many attempts.
Speaking about the row over the Tamil poet, Rajinikanth said: “Politicising Thiruvalluvar is an unwanted controversy. Thiruvalluvar is a saint. He cannot be confined to any particular caste or religion. He was not an atheist but a believer as his Kural proves. The BJP shared a picture of Thiruvalluvar in saffron robes. They didn’t insist everyone else to do so. Trying to create a controversy over the issue is not right.”
Though Rajinikanth had said in December 2017 that his entry into politics was definitive, the actor on Friday said he would continue to act till he launches his party.
Citing the instance of the late MGR, Rajinikanth said: “Till I announce anything about the party, I will continue to act. MGR too acted till he became the chief minister.”