Will superstar Rajinikanth support Narendra Modi?

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Chennai: Amidst persistent demand from BJP state leadership seeking superstar Rajinikanth’s support, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi is set to meet the popular actor at his Poes Garden residence on Sunday evening. Later, Mr Modi will address an election rally for NDA candidates at Jain College here.

His meeting with Rajini assumes significance. “Even if he endorses support for Modi’s BJP, it will go a long way for the NDA here in scoring a big victory,” a senior BJP leader said. In an interview, the actor, when asked about joining politics, said God had given him an actor’s role. But if He gives him a politician’s role, he will accept it, he had said.

It will be a big Sunday for the state BJP and its allies. Their prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will undertake his second campaign in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, which could lift the BJP and ally party cadres’ hopes that have been hinging on Modi’s visit ever since the alliance fructified.

Modi’s Sunday outing will be markedly different from visits in the past. The party’s alliance was fragile during his previous visits to Chennai and Tiruchy; it was on the brink of falling apart with some parties even threatening to pull out then.

Thanks to some shrewd parleying by the BJP negotiators, Modi visits Chennai this time with allies DMDK, MDMK and PMK, among others, wholesomely putting their weight behind the BJP. With Modi leading from the front, the saffron brigade could launch a fresh assault from Sunday on the Dravidian majors, whose electioneering the BJP combine found too strong to withstand. The saffron party could even pull a rabbit out of the hat on Sabbath day when Modi breaks bread with superstar Rajinikanth at the latter’s Poes Garden residence before heading to a rally venue in suburb.

The BJP is hopeful that Cho Ramasamy, a common friend of Rajinikanth and BJP leaders, could get the superstar to support the ‘lotus’ just as he did in the 1996 assembly elections when the DMK and TMC alliance endorsed by Rajinikanth routed the AIADMK. Will a circumspect Rajinikanth blink? This remains to be seen as he would not want to antagonise either Jayalalithaa or Karunanidhi?

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