I will not fall into saf­fron trap: Ra­jini

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Ud­hav Naig

Seek­ing to dis­tance him­self from the BJP, ac­tor and as­pir­ing politi­cian Ra­jinikanth on Fri­day said that nei­ther Tamil poet-sa­vant Thiru­val­lu­var nor he would fall into the trap of saf­fro­ni­sa­tion.

When jour­nal­ists re­ferred to a meet­ing BJP leader Pon. Rad­hakr­ish­nan had with him and asked if he would con­sider join­ing the party, Ra­jinikanth said, “Like how it hap­pened to Thiru­val­lu­var, BJP’s (saf­fron) colour is be­ing smeared on me. Nei­ther Thiru­val­lu­var nor I will fall into the trap.”

While clar­i­fy­ing that it was not true that BJP had reached out to him, Ra­jinikanth said that the per­sis­tent ac­cu­sa­tion that he was the BJP’s face in the State was only to be ex­pected, given the cur­rent state of pol­i­tics in Tamil Nadu. “This is com­mon in to­day’s pol­i­tics. Some peo­ple are try­ing to por­tray me as BJP’s face and it won’t suc­ceed,” he added.

De­spite vic­to­ries of the DMK in the re­cent Lok Sabha elec­tions and Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K. Palaniswam­i steady­ing the AIADMK by en­sur­ing the sur­vival of his gov­ern­ment and also win­ning the two bypolls re­cently by a wide mar­gin, Mr. Ra­jinikanth in­sisted that there was still a lead­er­ship vac­uum.

“Tamil Nadu still lacks a leader with cal­i­bre. Yes, there is a vac­uum,” he said.

The ac­tor, who par­tic­i­pated in the un­veil­ing of his men­tor K. Balachan­der’s bust at the of­fice of Raj Ka­mal Films In­ter­na­tional, said the whole con­tro­versy in­volv­ing Thiru­val­lu­var was rather “silly”. How­ever, he added that Thiru­val­lu­var was no athe­ist. “The BJP seems to have done it on their so­cial me­dia pages. They haven’t said that all Thiru­val­lu­var stat­ues should be saf­fro­nised. But, why should this be such a big con­tro­versy? Peo­ple have so many prob­lems and so many needs. This con­tro­versy is just silly,” he said. The ac­tor re­jected the idea of his yetto-be launched party con­test­ing the lo­cal body elec­tions. Mr. Ra­jinikanth also urged peo­ple to ex­er­cise cau­tion if and when the Ay­o­d­hya verdict is de­liv­ered.

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