Sensing a political opportunity in Tamil Nadu following the conviction of AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has intensified its efforts to make superstar Rajinikanth join the party.
During a Navarathri visit to Mr. Rajinikanth’s residence last week, Tamilisai Soundararajan, president of the BJP State unit, tossed the idea of the popular actor supporting the party to his wife, Lata Rajinikanth, party sources said.
BJP sources told The Hindu that Ms. Soundararajan went to the actor’s house on an invitation from Ms. Rajinikanth.
The actor was, however, away shooting for his next movie, Linga.
Ms. Soundararajan invited Mr. Rajinikanth to release a book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, currently being given the final touches. She told the family that she would visit again to talk about the book when Mr. Rajinikanth returned. They discussed the political situation.
A senior BJP leader said the party felt the situation as ideal for roping in someone like Mr. Rajinikanth, who had mass appeal.
Recalling Mr. Rajinikanth’s support to the DMK-TMC combine in 1996, the leader said the actor’s backing could be a huge boost to the party’s fortunes in Tamil Nadu.
“Both the AIADMK and the DMK are facing corruption charges. We believe there will be a huge leadership vacuum in the next Assembly election,” the leader said.
Talk of the BJP trying to get Mr. Rajinikanth on board has been doing the rounds for a while.
The actor has a positive opinion about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met him at his Poes Garden residence during the Lok Sabha election campaign in the State.
Party national president Amit Shah is learnt to have discussed the possibility of inducting the actor.