Rajinikanth fans free to quit Rajini Makkal Mandram and join any political party, says mandram official

Published : January 18, 2021 12:56 IST

DMK president M.K. Stalin formally inducting Rajini Makkal Mandram members into the DMK on January 17.

Close on the heels of a few senior functionaries of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), which was to be the Rajinikanth’s political launchpad, joining other political parties, the outfit said on January 18 that its members were free to quit the organisation and join any party. With this, any hope that right wing elements harboured that the superstar would at least lend his voice to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine has been put to rest.

On January 17, three senior functionaries of the RMM joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party. This included the Thoothukudi district secretary, A. Joseph Stalin, who was said to be among those involved in moving the organisation forward to eventually make it a political party. Joseph Stalin later told reporters that he decided to join the DMK after Rajinikanth announced his decision not to enter politics.

The release issued by RMM’s chief executive, V.M. Sudhakar, said that “RMM members who wish to join any political party may resign from RMM and join any political party of their choice. Regardless of whichever party they join, they will always be the fans of our Thalaivar [Rajinikanth]. None of the members should overlook this fact.” The RMM website is also down following the announcement, and it is not immediately clear if the site has been taken down permanently.

Even after Rajinikanth announced his decision to stay away from active politics in late December 2020, citing health reasons, some of his fans and others keen on his political entry had staged a demonstration in Chennai and other towns in early January demanding that he reconsider his decision. Rajinikanth had also expressed concern over some people seeking donations to stage demonstrations and protests against his decision.

Articles appeared in a section of the press, in what appeared to be a series of coordinated events to force the superstar to reconsider his decision. Rajinikanth refused to budge, and asked his fans to respect his decision.

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