RAJINI … Rajinikanth, Sasikala, Owaisi, Haasan set to redraw political map 2021 in Tamil Nadu


CHENNAI: The ruling AIADMK and the DMK are experiencing internal tremors as superstar Rajinikanth has firmed up his plan for launch of a political party in Tamil Nadu. His close associates said on Tuesday that the party will be named as Makkal Sevei Kakshi and it has applied for autorickshaw as its symbol for the upcoming assembly elections in May.

Rajinikant had announced on December 8 that he was in the final stages of formation of a political party. He promised an honest, transparent, corruption-free and spiritual political platform. The actor had stated earlier that he would not aim to be the chief minister, unlike film personalities like MGR and K Karunanidhi did in the past.

The political landscape in Tamil Nadu is set for a tumult as new players would be entering the stage in the run-up to the assembly polls which in the past had been a fight between the DMK under K Karunanidhi and AIADMK under J Jayalalitha, both having passed into history after the last assembly polls.

VK Sasikala, close aide of Jayalalitha, is set to enter politics in full form after her release from the Agrahara prison in Bengaluru next month, after a four-year imprisonment on a charge of amassment of wealth disproportionate to income jointly by deceased Jayalalitha and Sasikala. Sasikala has already deposited a fine amount of Rs 10crore. Present chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy was her nominee for CM post, but he and deputy CM O Panneerselvam are now ganging up against Sasikala and want to be on their own. They have removed both Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran from the AIADMK, and Dhinakaran has formed a political party on his own.

Meanwhile, another hot topic of discussion in Tamil Nadu politics now is the high-stakes entry of Hyderabad-based Muslim politician Asaddudin Owaisi MP, heading the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), to Tamil Nadu politics. Owaisi who performed impressively in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections this past week, had also opened account for his party in the recent Bihar Assembly polls. He is also planning to enter the assembly poll fray in West Bengal.

Owaisi’s party plans to contest 25 seats in Tamil Nadu and is reportedly having association with the Makkal Needhi Maiam political party launched by superstar Kamal Haasan. Currently, the AIADMK enjoys strong Muslim support, which will partly be offset if Owaisi steps in. Owaisi aims to turn his political party into a national entity. He has pockets of influence in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh too, as of now.

The DMK, now under the leadership of MK Stalin, son of Karunanidhi, had swept the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu in 2019. Expectations were that the DMK would capture power in the state in the coming assembly polls. With new entrants set to change the political landscape, an air of uncertainty hangs in the air as regards the outcome of the 2021 polls. IHN-NN


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