Chennai: Short of announcing his political party, superstar Rajinikanth today invoked the legacy of late AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and said he was confident of giving a good administration like the yesteryear matinee idol.
“Nobody can match MGR even in 1,000 years and that includes me,” he said referring to criticism, especially from the ruling AIADMK that not all can emulate the late chief minister’s success in politics.
Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, is often referred to as the benchmark of success in Tamil Nadu politics, especially for an actor, with many other cinema professionals trying to emulate him.
He said he would follow spiritual governance that would have no discrimination based on caste or creed.
In his over 30-minute speech, which gave an insight into his political ideology and the priorities of his yet-to-be-launched party, Rajinikanth acknowledged he was “not MGR” and “If someone says he will be (like) MGR, he will only be crazy.”
“But I am confident that I can give a rule like him, that will benefit the poor and the common man,” he said amidst loud cheers from the gathering at the ACS Medical College and Hospital after unveiling a statue of MGR.
The late MGR was worshipped by his followers for heralding pro-people regimes starting 1977, with a special focus on the welfare of the poor and downtrodden, making him a darling of the masses.
Unseating the DMK after breaking away from it, MGR had ruled the State for over a decade till his death in December 1987 and was known for his populist measures.
In his first political remarks since 31 December last when he announced he will enter politics and contest all 234 assembly seats whenever elections are held, Rajinikanth said there was a “vacuum for a good leader” in the State politics currently.
This was following the demise of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and ill-health of 93-year old DMK President M Karunanidhi who has become inactive politically of late, he said.
“There is a vacuum for a good leader and a leadership… I am confident I will be able to give the good administration and spiritual governance,” he said.
In a veiled reference to the AIADMK’s criticism of his political entry, Rajinikanth said he was being questioned why a cinema star should join politics.
“At the age of 67, I am doing my job as an actor. But you (ruling party) are not doing your job. I have tasted politics as early as in 1996,” he said, adding he was aware of the “wrongdoings” happening in the regime.
Describing MGR as an “epoch,” Rajinikanth said he had expected the State government to involve the cinema industry in the birth centenary celebrations of the late chief minister but it did not happen.
Earlier, he apologised to the Chenniaites for any inconvenience caused by banners and cutouts erected by his fans all along the road leading to the function venue.
Pointing out at a Madras High Court ruling against banners, he asked his supporters to refrain from such practices in future.