In what can be considered as a major shot in the arm for the BJP, Tamil icon, Rajinikanth has heaped praise on the BJP manifesto over its promise to inter-link India’s rivers. It has led to speculations that the superstar might have just signaled his fans to support the BJP during the Lok Sabha polls. Rajinikanth lauded the BJP manifesto while addressing reporters in Chennai. He said, “I have been speaking about interlinking Indian rivers for years. The BJP has released its election manifesto on Monday. Amongst the poll promises, I was attracted by BJP’s assurance to interlink Indian rivers.”
Rajinikanth also said, “When I spoke about interlinking Indian rivers, Vajpayee was very interested in implementing that. I had also coined a name ‘Paheerath Yojana’ – means for making impossible things possible. If the country’s rivers are linked, it will eradicate poverty and the livelihood crores of people and farmers will improve. If NDA forms the government again at Centre, they should implement this first.”
Interestingly, the widely followed movie icon had recently requested the people of Tamil Nadu and his fans to vote for a party which is capable of interlinking Indian rivers. And now he has heaped praise on the BJP for promising to interlink Indian rivers in its manifesto. As per analysts the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), a fan-based association which is likely to be converted into a political outfit might support the BJP-AIADMK alliance in the state of Tamil Nadu. As per Aazhi Senthilnathan, a political analyst, the Tamil icon’s comments are a signal to the RMM workers that they should work for the BJP-AIADMK coalition in the state. Senthilnathan stated, “We know that Rajini has always had a soft corner towards BJP. He had already said that when numerous hands (Mahaghatbandhan) are joining together to oppose one man (Modi), we should think who is more powerful. After this, he is coming out to express his support for BJP with this river linkage issue. It is evident that the actor is subtly hinting his followers to back AIADMK–BJP alliance in Tamil Nadu.
Even though Rajinikanth has not expressly declared support for the ruling party in the centre, his remarks have made things pretty obvious. This could very well turn out to be a major development as far as Tamil Nadu politics is concerned. Rajinikanth has a really wide fan base not only in Tamil Nadu but also elsewhere in India too. His comments are likely to bring considerable support for the BJP-AIADMK coalition. The timing of his remarks could not have been better. He has heaped praise on the the saffron party as the country goes to the much anticipated polls. This is the time when his comments are likely to have the maximum impact.