Is Rajinikanth delaying his entry into politics due to pressure from BJP?

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Chennai, Dec 27: On Wednesday, superstar Rajinikanth met his fans in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, for the second day in a row.

The 67-year-old maintains that the six-day long schedule, which started on Tuesday, is purely an exercise to personally meet and greet his fans and it should not be seen as a political event.

rajinikanth

However, the charismatic actor, who enjoys cult status in the Tamil film industry, added that he will announce his stand on entering politics on December 31.

So, why is such a dilly-dallying on part of Rajinikanth to announce his political debut? It has been almost a year, since every now and then, the news of political entry of Thalaiva, as the veteran actor is popularly known among his fans, hits the headlines. Every time the report of the political debut of Rajinikanth is proved to be a rumour.

On Tuesday, Rajinikanth revealed why he is hesitant to join politics. "I am hesitant in entering politics as I am aware of the pitfalls. I am not new to politics, I know its depths. I have been watching politics closely since 1996. If I enter politics I will have to win. For that I will need a strategy," he said.

However, the statement made by Rajinikanth to explain his delay in entering politics did not convince political observers as well as his fans too.

"If he is so worried about winning elections, then he should not enter politics. Politics is not about winning elections only. It is much more than that. If a person is committed to serve the people then he/she should not worry about elections," added a political analyst from Bengaluru.

He added Rajini Sir should be clear whether he wanted to join politics or not. "He should stop dawdling over the matter as it looks farcical now."

However, another political observer from Chennai stated that it was not as simple as it looks. "Rajinikanth is an honourable man. He won't do anything without thinking twice. He might be under some pressure. It is definitely of political nature," he indicated.

In fact, in May also, during his meeting with fans, Rajinikanth hinted that he would join politics soon.

"God decides what we have to do in life at every phase. Right now, he wants me to be an actor and I am fulfilling my responsibility. If god willing, I will enter politics tomorrow," Rajinikanth had said sparking off speculations of his imminent entry.

However, seven months later there is no clarity whether the well-respected actor would join politics or not.

Many indicate that the 67-year-old veteran is under pressure to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if he ever makes his political debut. The BJP which is struggling hard to make its entry into the choppy political waters of Tamil Nadu is heavily relying on a popular and dynamic figure to join the saffron party.

"Who else could be best than Rajinikanth to be the BJP's mascot in Tamil Nadu?" asked a BJP leader. Moreover, the actor shares a cordial relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, it is also true that Tamil Nadu is not yet ready for the BJP to rule over the state. The state where the two Dravidian parties--All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)--have been ruling for decades, the BJP is seen as a Hindi party for only the upper caste Hindus.

Rajinikanth is well aware that if he joins the BJP or forms his own party too and makes an alliance with the BJP, it would definitely elicit wide-scale interest, but it won't ensure a win in the elections. However, the actor can't also refuse the BJP not to have any tie-ups with the saffron party.

"It is this BJP dilemma which is leading to Rajini Sir's dilly-dallying in entering politics," said a political observer. 

Over the next few days, the southern state would be waiting with bated breath to see finally what decision its Thalaiva has arrived at regarding his political career.

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