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Superstar Rajinikanth caught in controversy over support to BJP in Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar bypoll; as AIADMK factions frown, rushes to clarify

Superstar Rajinikanth is known more for his magical movie charisma that enthralls audiences and gets them into cinemas by their millions every time a new release hits the big screen rather than for anything else he does.

Superstar Rajinikanth is known more for his magical movie charisma that enthralls audiences and gets them into cinemas by their millions every time a new release hits the big screen rather than for anything else he does. However, on the wider stage worldly stage, the man likes to keep a distance from politics even as most politicians vie with each other to show that the larger-than-life cinema giant is close to them. Rajinikanth meets them all and showers his blessing on them all without holding back. But he is quite apolitical in his stance. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to former AIADMK president and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa and other political parties’ bigwigs, Rajinikanth has embraced them all. He is rarely, if ever caught in a controversy and that has enhanced his image to godly status in his fan’s minds.
However, one such latest meeting has sparked a huge outcry in Tamil Nadu and has some solid footing. This stems from his meeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate as well as famed music composer for the by-election to RK Nagar assembly constituency Gangai Amaran and saying his best wishes are with the man – the bypoll is on 12 April and the last day of filing nomination papers with the Election Commission is today. The photo of Rajini embracing and laughing with Amaran has gone viral.


This has not gone down very well with the two rival factions of the AIADMK, consisting of interim party General Secratary Sasikala and former Tamil Nadu Chief minister O Panneerselvam who are fighting each other for the legacy of Jayalalithaa as well as for the control of the party itself. Now with Rajini virtually endorsing the BJP candidate, both these leaders are put in a spot. Simply because Rajinikanth’s thumbs-up for any candidate can result in a massive surge of votes.
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With all this happening in public space, Rajinikanth has scrambled to clarify and indicate that he is as neutral in this matter as can be. Taking to Twitter today Rajinikanth posted: ‘My support is for no one in the coming elections.’
It remains to be seen what damage, if any, was caused to the AIADMK candidates. The answer will be available on results day, of course.

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