‘Rajini will join politics, launch his political party’
TAKING THE PLUNGE Hindu Makkal Katchi president who met the actor in Chennai says he should bring Tamil Nadu out of the mess
It may only be a matter of time before Tamil superstar Rajinikanth joins politics.
The actor will join politics and be launching his own political party, said Hindu Makkal Katchi president Arjun Sampath on Monday after a 45-minute meet with the actor at his house here.
“For sure Rajinikanth is coming into politics and he will be launching his own political party... “It is time Rajini sir came into politics and brought Tamil Nadu out of the current mess,” Sampath said. “We have also requested him to join politics.”
After speaking to his fans and hinting about venturing into the political arena last month, the actor is making the right noises, picking up issues of importance and meeting people from different sections of the society.
Sampath also rejected the contention that Rajinikanth had kept himself aloof from politics and never took up issues of public interest, citing the superstar’s earlier comments on politics and political parties.
Indications from the actor also point to the fact that he is readying himself for a political role.
On Sunday, the 66-year-old received a delegation of farmers from Tamil Nadu led by its leader P Ayyakannu, the president of National South Indian Rivers Inter-Linking Farmers Association. The star promised to take up their issues with PM Narendra Modi.
When the farmers reminded him of his previous promise of ₹1 crore for the river linking project, Rajinikanth offered the sum on the spot. They requested him to instead hand over the money to the PM and urged him to intervene on their behalf and help the farmers that is facing an acute existential crisis.
While the Dravidian parties have been lukewarm to the idea of Rajinikanth’s entry into politics, the BJP is welcoming him wholeheartedly and is hopeful that the star with a huge fan following would join the party, helping it to make inroads in the state that has been dominated by the DMK and the AIADMK so far.
In fact, BJP leaders such as H Raja and Union minister of state Pon Radhakrishnan have invited him to join the saffron party.
“For a party without a charismatic leader, Rajinikanth makes a lot of sense. But even with Rajinikanth, the going might be tough for the BJP in Tamil Nadu for an assortment of reasons,” a political science professor at the Madras University said.
A source said Rajinikanth appears to have made up his mind. In all probability, he will formally launch his party on his birthday on December 12.
Indians seeking to visit Australia as tourists or for business meetings will be able to apply online visitor visa from July 1 after the government made the announcement to cash in on the rising popularity of the country as a holiday destination.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) granted more than 65,000 visitorvisastoIndiansin thefirst four months of 2017.
According to the DIBP, with the rising popularity of Australia as a holiday destination, there has been a rise in demand for Australian visas in India.
Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke said the online application option would make applying for Australian visitor visas easier and ultimately enhance the visitor experience for Indian citizens. “Indian nationals wishing to visit Australia will soon be able to apply for a visitor visa in a more convenient and accessible manner,” Hawke said.
“Online lodgement for visitor visa applications is a significant enhancement that will benefit Indian applicants seeking to visit Australia as tourists or business visitors, or those wanting to reconnect with family and friends,” he said.
The move comes amid hundreds of complaints from Indians wishing to travel to Australia and facing inordinate delays in obtaining visitor visas. PTI
Rajinikanth with a delegation of farmers from Tamil Nadu. He has promised to take up their issues with PM Narendra Modi.