Rajini clarifies saffronisation remark, says press depicting him as BJP man

The actor also made it clear that he wouldn’t be participating in the forthcoming local body polls. Photo: PTI

Hours after superstar Rajinikanth on Friday (November 8) was reported to have said that attempts were being made to paint him in “saffron” a la ancient Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, the actor clarified that it was the media which was trying to portray him as a BJP man.

The actor had earlier said that attempts were being made to “saffronise” him and that such endeavours will not succeed, sparking speculations that he may be mulling to sever all his ties with the BJP, a party he had supported in controversial issues including the abrogation of Article 370.

When asked if, by his earlier statement he wanted to send out a message that he doesn’t want to associate with the BJP anymore, he denied it stating that it is the media that is trying to depict him as a BJP man.

When asked about the BJP’s claims that he will join the party soon, he said, “Any party can wish that I should join them. If I join, they would be happy. If the BJP thinks so, it is not their mistake. But for that, it is wrong to say that the BJP is relying on me.  It is me who would decide on it.”

On the Saffronisation of Tiruvallur, the actor blamed the media for making it an issue.

He also stated that he would continue to do films until he announces his party and joins active politics. “It’s like how Tamilaruvimanian once said about former chief minister MG Ramachandran – that he acted in the films until he started a party and became chief minister,” he said.

Thiruvalluvar was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. His name hit the headlines, recently, when the BJP tried to appropriate him by tweeting a photo of the <em>Thirukural</em> author clad in saffron.

Earlier in the day, while talking to reporters at his residence, the matinee idol said, “There are lot of other issues that we have to look into. The BJP colouring Thiruvalluvar in saffron on their twitter handle is not that big to make it a controversy.”

He added, “Thiruvalluvar is not an atheist. He believed in god. I am not so. Both Thiruvalluvar and I cannot be saffronised.” This assertion comes in the wake of speculations that he would be joining the BJP.

Answering a question over Pon Radhakrishnan meeting him he said, “When you announce your interest in starting a political party, often other party people tend to meet you. It does not mean it is a political move.” The actor also made it clear that he wouldn’t be participating in the forthcoming local body polls.

Meanwhile, his supporters are seeking to draw a distinction between the Hindutva brand of politics and his brand of spiritual politics. While Hindutva represents one religion his brand is all-encompassing, they claim.

Despite having declared in 2017 that he would take the plunge in politics, to this day he has made no move in connection with that.

And the BJP has been constantly been trying to woo him but has met with no success.

But it is to be noted that Rajini has been supporting various contentious policies of the BJP. For instance, he backed the abrogation of article 370 and referred to the Modi-Shah duo as Krishna-Arjuna.