Superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday confirmed that he would be attending Narendra Modi's swearing-in as Prime Minister ahead of his second term, which is scheduled for May 30 in New Delhi.
Calling Narendra Modi, who was unanimously declared PM candidate by the NDA which won an astonishing 353 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, a "charismatic leader" in the same mould as predecessors Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Rajinikanth did also remark on how there was no BJP wave in Tamil Nadu as there had been in some of the neighbouring states. He did, however, say that the central government should focus on the state regardless, suggesting water as the most important area.
"Definitely they (Central government) have to take Tamil Nadu seriously. The joining of the Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri."
Rajinikanth also remarked on the current predicament of the Congress party and its chief Rahul Gandhi
Asked about whether Rahul Gandhi should resign as Congress president and for his views on his leadership skills, Rajinikanth said, "I won't say he lacks leadership qualities. It's difficult to handle it (the Congress). It is an old party. As a youngster, it is difficult to handle the senior leaders. I think in my observations the senior leaders haven't worked hard."
He added, "He shouldn't resign. He should stand firm and do whatever he can. In a democracy, the ruling party is important, similarly, the opposition party should also be strong."
Rajinikanth's endorsement comes amid high drama within the Congress party which won only 52 seats in the elections, including being almost whitewashed in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in which it only recently formed governments. Rahul Gandhi also lost in his own Amethi bastion to Smriti Irani. Following this, Rahul Gandhi had offered to resign as Congress president which was 'unanimously' rejected by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) which instead bestowed greater powers upon him to overhaul the party. Rahul Gandhi has also allegedly lashed out at senior Congress leaders who pushed their sons for Lok Sabha tickets rather than focusing on the party.
Asked once again on his own plans for entering politics, especially in the context of the Tamil Nadu elections which are two years away, Rajinikanth declined to offer any new update. Rajinikanth's fellow actor Kamal Haasan who has made the plunge into politics has also been invited for the swearing-in.