Opinion

After the death of Karunanidhi, will superstar Rajinikanth become the kingmaker and help BJP win the elections in Tamil Nadu?

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The man who was abusing Hindu deities and rituals is now a hero, said my uncle after special segments on DMK stalwart M Karunanidhi flooded in all TV channels of South India. The 13 time MLA and 5 time chief minster died at the age of 94 and this means Tamil Nadu politics is now open for all.

While the Tamilians were thinking what will be their fate as there is no “Amma” (Jayalalitha) and Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) the political pundits were occupied in predicting who will be the next king or the kingmaker in Tamil Nadu politics. Going by the past, Tamil Nadu was ruled by leaders with silver screen background for over 4 decades, and this trend might even continue if the calculations of Rajnikanth goes as planned.

Weeks ago there was a rumour that ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rajnikanth would lead AIADMK with with an alliance with the BJP in Tamil Nadu. Few even claimed the announcement will be made in few weeks. Apparently this could be the perfect time to make such an announcement.

This statement is not based on the mere speculations. If we go back to the time of M. G. Ramachandran who was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1977 to 1987, the fortunes of Karunanidhi stared declining massively. Elections after elections in the state assembly, the DMK vote share started to dent drastically. So one could say that MGR was a thick shield which Karunanidhi couldn’t penetrate.

Now Rajnikanth has decided to use the shield named MGR with intentions of entering Tamil Nadu politics. While the people of Tamil Nadu were eagerly waiting for Thaliavaa’s political entry since the mid 1990s, the wait was over only at the end of 2017. During the 2004 elections, Rajnikanth himself had said that he would personally vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

On March 2018 the thaliavaa had said there can never be anyone like MGR in the next 100 or even 1,000 years. MGR is a ‘yuga purushan’. If someone says he wants to become like MGR, then he is a fool. 

Praising the rival of Karunanidhi, the thaliavaa gave rise to speculations that he would align with the anti-DMK parties. The only competition for Rajnikanth would be actor Kamal Haasan who with his Makkal Needhi Maiam party plans big in politics.

But Kamal Haasan has muddied his image with frequent communal statements. Once he said his colour is not saffron and the other moment he tries to project himself a secular. But Rajnikanth has managed to keep his image clean but not indulging in any of these publicity gimmick. If closely observed, Rajnikanth’s approach to both media and public is similar to that of PM Modi.

Tamil Nadu contributes 39 seats to the Lok Sabha and in the 2014 general elections BJP had won just one seat. Whereas AIADMK had won a whopping 37 seats, but this was due to the presence of Jayalalitha. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) had also won a seat.

Now that MK Stalin headed DMK will ask votes in the name of their late supremo Karunanidhi, it would not be easy for the AIADMK to repeat its performance. That’s when Rajnikanth would come into the play.

While the analysts say that Rajnikanth will be with the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, either by joining the party or through alliance, BJP has not stopped to strengthen its roots.

In June 2018, the party president Amit Shah had flagged off the “Tamil Nadu Mission 2019” with aims of strengthening the party ahead of the general elections. Amit Shah had also addressed 10,000 both-level committee workers from Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and the Andaman and Nicobar islands in Chennai.

BJP is set to make huge gains in North East states and even in the southern states. So even if BJP lose a chunk of Lok Sabha seats in states likes Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh it won’t be a setback. So if thalaivaa Rajnikanth joins with BJP then BJP have every chances to cross 300 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.


Hansika Raj

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