Soon after superstar Rajinikanth and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan hinted that they might join hands, Republic TV spoke to the vice president of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM). Speaking to Republic TV, the vice president of MNM, R Mahendran confirmed that there are talks going on. He also added that if two great personalities want to come together, then it will benefit Tamil Nadu.
"It is just another indication that two great personalities think alike. My answer is 'Why not?'. They have been friends for four decades. Both of them know that there is a need for Tamil Nadu to see a change. When they have the same vision, why not? I don't think it is needed. Both their statements are explanatory. They are two great personalities, they have been talking on politics for a year now. So whatever they say means a lot, it explains everything," said Mahendran.
Earlier in the day, Haasan said that he is ready for an alliance with Rajinikanth if the need arises. Responding to it within hours, Rajinikanth said: "If there is a necessity to join for the welfare of people, we'll surely join hands". This development came days after Rajnikanth was seen distancing himself from the BJP, saying that the party is trying the ''saffronise him". Earlier, Haasan had said that he would not ally with Rajnikanth if his "colour is saffron". Recently, both the actor-turned-politicians attended the unveiling of the statue of late film director K. Balachandar at the new office premises of Raaj Kamal Films International in Chennai, dropping major hints about their tie-up.
Launching his party in a public meeting in Madurai in February 2018, Hasan had said that the MNM will fill the vacuum in Tamil politics. He also launched his party flag which shows six interlocked hands. The meaning, he explained, was co-operation between the Southern states of India. In Lok Sabha elections, the party contested 36 seats but did not win any.
While Rajinikanth's political entry has been long-heralded, unlike Kamal Haasan who launched his party Makkal Needhi Maiam, Rajinikanth has not announced a party, instead reiterating that he will work for the people of Tamil Nadu. He had, last year, launched his own website 'rajinimandram.org' and unveiled a logo. In a video message to his fans, the superstar had appealed to them to register to the website and help him develop Tamil Nadu.
While a prominent and popular face is missing from Tamil politics after the demise of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and DMK chief Karunanidhi, the AIADMK in alliance with the BJP is ruling the state with chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the helm of affairs. The BJP is trying to make inroads in the southern state which has long been held by regional powers. While DMK has now been taken over by Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin, AIADMK is facing stiff opposition from its faction - Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) - led by Sasikala's nephew Dinakaran.