Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 06 June 2020 6.49 AM IST

I don't want to be CM, will choose someone else: Rajinikanth


Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth says he has no interest in being Tamil Nadu's chief minister, and prefers to remain the head of his prospective party -- a role he says is akin to that of an opposition leader. He only wants change in politics, he explains.

So who will be chief minister? No names were named at the Chennai event where Rajinikanth outlined his political vision today, but the veteran actor said he would pick a responsible, self-respecting person.

Rajinikanth, 69, took no questions after making his statement. He did not name his upcoming party, or reveal the date of its launch. One of Tamil cinema's most celebrated actors, Rajinikanth announced his decision to enter politics to great fanfare on New Year's Eve in 2017.

Politics and cinema go hand-in-hand in Tamil Nadu, where three former film industry professionals -- MG Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa -- have been voted to power.

But Rajinikanth has so far skipped opportunities to contest elections and kept supporters waiting for a conclusive announcement about his party. He has dismissed speculation that he is a BJP man, but one political analyst said he gave out "confusing signs" -- he once compared

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah with Lord Krishna and Arjuna. But he recently delighted his longtime Kollywood colleague Kamal Haasan, also a politician, by attacking the Centre over last month's deadly riots in Delhi.

Rajinikanth recently enraged Dravidian politicians by reviving an old controversy surrounding their icon, the rationalist EV Ramaswamy (or Periyar): he said unclothed effigies of Ram and Sita were garlanded with chappals at a rally held by Periyar in the early 70s. He refused to apologise for these remarks, made at a event held by Thuglak magazine.

Assembly elections due in Tamil Nadu next year are still largely seen as a contest between the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK party. Rajinikanth has said he, too, will be in the fray. How will it all play out? We'll have to wait and see.

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