Rajinikanth says no to BJP: ‘Will not walk into a trap’

But KV Muralidharan says that the film star-turned-political riddle was never invited to his party in the first place, the comment of Pon Radhakrishnan notwithstanding

Tamil film star Rajinikanth has dismissed all speculation about joining the BJP. While sources say that all efforts were underway to recruit him to the squad, but he would not “set foot in the trap”.

Recently, Tamil Nadu BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan had called upon Rajnikanth to join his party. When asked about his opinion in Chennai on Friday, Rajinikanth said, “I have not received any proposal to join the BJP so far. An attempt is being made to show me as ‘saffron’.”

The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP had released a picture of fifth-century poet Thiruvalluvar dressed in saffron, which stoked controversy in the Dravidian politics-dominated State. Drawing on the context, Rajinikanth said, “They are trying to draw me into the saffron camp like they did with Thiruvalluvar. But I can’t be trapped that way, as Thiruvalluvar can’t be either.”

For some years, there has been speculation over Rajinikanth’s involvement in politics as nothing tangible came of the launch of his party in 2017-end. Although he was reported to make a fresh announcement about his party ahead of the Assembly election in 2021 after spending the past two years in much-publicised ‘pilgrimages’, his discussions with the BJP went nowhere. In the meantime, another filmstar-turned-political dud Kamal Haasan labelled Rajinikanth as “inclined to saffron”.

When the Narendra Modi government announced a few days ago that the ‘Icon of Golden Jubilee’ award would be announced at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa by the end of November, speculations were rife that the award would go to Rajinikanth to attract him to the BJP. But today, Rajinikanth pricked the balloon.

The BJP reacted to Rajinikanth’s remarks, with State BJP leader KV Muralidharan saying, “We have never said that Rajinikanth has joined or wants to join our party. The BJP has no interest in such a debate.”

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