Superstar Rajinikanth chose to end 2017 with a big bang announcement of his political entry. While his announcement put an end to the big question of "will he or won't he join politics", Rajinikanth is now faced with a new question- "Will he or won't he ally with the BJP"?
Rajinikanth is widely acknowledged as a spiritual and religious person- something that the actor has not shied away from either. His quoting of the Bhagavad Gita, calling for 'spiritual politics' during his big announcement has opened up the debate on whether the superstar will associate himself with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- this at a time when the saffron party is being accused of attempting to make a backdoor entry into Tamil Nadu politics. BJP leaders dropping hints egging Rajinikanth to join them has only added to the debate.
Any move by Rajinikanth to associate himself with the BJP at this juncture would prove to be political suicide, analysts say. "If he (Rajinikanth) is seen as being too close to the BJP, his political fortunes are in trouble," said Sumanth Raman, political analysts based out of Chennai. He added that the very fact that the BJP is enthusiastic about his political plunge may spell trouble for the superstar given the perception around BJP in Tamil Nadu.
Perhaps realising the same, Rajinikanth was careful to announce that his party- whose name is likely to be announced during the festival of Pongal- would contest from all constituencies. "There will be an initial period of maintaining distance from all political parties. He declared that his party is going to contest in all constituencies making it clear that there will be no allies, supporting parties as of now," Raman added.
While Rajini baiters have accused him of being a mere front for the BJP to control the political scene in Tamil Nadu, analysts believe that a lot will depend on the kind of plans the actor puts in place for his political venture. "The kind of team he puts together and the ideology of the party will be the key. If he manages to establish himself as a political entity, the people may give him a benefit of doubt," Raman added. Until that time, given the anger against BJP in Tamil Nadu, any association with the party may only backfire for the superstar, he added.