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Rajinikanth launches website, app for political change


The actor also uploaded a one-minute video on the website asking his fans and those who want change to register with their names and voter IDs.

IANS

Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth, who made waves on Sunday, 31 December, by plunging into electoral politics, on Monday, 1 January, launched a website and an app inviting people to sign up in his campaign to bring about a political change in Tamil Nadu.

Even as established political parties by and large appeared to play the wait-and-watch game, Rajinikanth uploaded a one-minute video extending New Year greetings and thanking all those who supported his entry into politics.

"I have created a web page, rajinimanram.org, where members of my registered fans' associations and unregistered associations and people who want a good change in Tamil Nadu's politics can register with their names and voter ID to coordinate ourselves [sic]. Let us bring a good change in Tamil Nadu. Hail Tamil people and Tamil Nadu," he said in the video, which had a logo made famous by him in his super-hit film Baba (2002) with words "Truth, Labour, Elevation".

Accusing political parties of "looting" the people, Rajinikanth on Sunday said he would float a new party to pursue "spiritual politics" and vowed to contest the next Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

After years of uncertainty, the 68-year-old bus conductor-turned-heartthrob of Tamil cinema told cheering supporters in Chennai that his decision was a "compulsion of time".

Alleging that politics in the country had gone "very wrong", the actor said, "Under the guise of democracy, political parties are looting their own people." Such a system, he added, needed to be changed.

Meanwhile, former AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) MP KC Palaniswamy claimed that his party was not perturbed by Rajinikant's announcement.

"There is a widespread perception that Rajinikanth is taking a political plunge at the insistence of BJP. His announcement that he would practice `spiritual politics' will cost his proposed party the minority votes," AIADMK spokesperson Palaniswamy told IANS.

"The actor is facing an uphill task. Firstly, he has to build the grassroot infrastructure. His age (67) as well as the age of his fans, who are around 50, are against him," Palaniswamy added.

According to him, Rajinikanth's foray would affect only the Congress, DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and the sidelined party leader TTV Dinakaran.

The hugely popular actor said his party would not contest the upcoming local body elections but would field candidates in all the 234 Assembly seats in 2021.

In a clear attack on the ruling AIADMK, Rajinikanth said the happenings in Tamil Nadu in the past one year — since Chief Minister J Jayalalitha's death in December 2016, leading to splits in the party — had made the state a laughing stock.