AIADMK hits out at Rajini for remarks on TN CM

Chennai, Nov 18 (PTI) Superstar Rajinikanth has saidTamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami 'would not even havedreamt' of coming to the top post and described the AIADMKleader's elevation as 'wonder and marvel.' The actor, who has announced entering politics andfacing the next Assembly polls, scheduled in 2021, said'wonder and marvel' could happen 'tomorrow also', apparentlyhinting at his political entry.

The ruling AIADMK hit out at Rajinikanth, saying thechief minister had not come to the post by chance, 'but bysheer hard work' of around 45 years.

Rajinikanth should not make such comments as an actorbut do so only after launching his own political outfit orparty, AIADMK Spokesperson R M Babu Murugavel said.

Speaking at an event to mark the 60 years of hiscontemporary and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan inthe cinema industry on Sunday, Rajinikanth also saidPalaniswami had belied all claims of his government being ashort-lived one.

'Two years ago, Honourable Edappadi (Palaniswami)would not have even dreamt of becoming Tamil Nadu ChiefMinister.... marvel and wonder--it happened,' he said.

Recalling the initial days of the Palaniswami-leddispensation, Rajinikanth said everybody had predicted it willbe a short-lived one.

Among others, DMK chief President MK Stalin hadinitially often predicted the government could fall any time.

'There was no one in Tamil Nadu who did not say thegovernment will last for only 20 days, a month or that it willfall in about four to five months....99 per cent of peoplesaid that..a wonder happened, a marvel happened.. thegovernment did not fall, and is continuing overcoming allobstacles,' he said.

'A wonder and miracle had happened yesterday,iscontinuing today and tomorrow also it will happen,' he said toloud cheers, apparently over his political journey.

Rajinikanth's remarks come in the wake of Palaniswamirecently hitting out at the actor for his comment that therewas a leadership vacuum in Tamil Nadu, saying he was just anactor and not a political leader.

Palaniswami was elected chief minister in 2017 in thewake of the internal rumblings in the ruling AIADMK post thenCM J Jayalalithaa's demise in December 2016.

Though initially incumbent deputy chief minister OPanneerselvam helmed the government after Jayalalithaa'sdeath, he later fell out of favour with jailed party leader VKSasikala and rebelled against her, after she was made AIADMKlegislature party leader, paving way for her elevation as CM.

Sasikala was Jayalalithaa's confidante.

However, she was later convicted in a graft case andprior to her being jailed, Palaniswami was elected AIADMKlegislature party leader.

Responding to Rajinikanth's comments, the AIADMK saidPalaniswami has risen through the party ranks to achieve thisheight and 'did not become chief minister by chance.' Party spokesperson Babu Murugavel said according tothe Constitution of India, elected MLAs pick their chiefminister.

'Party workers have to decide who is CM and who willrule.. MGR (party founder the late MG Ramachandran) and Ammabecame Chief Ministers like this. The same party worker alsowants him (Palaniswami) to be CM and therefore he is so,' hetold PTI.

The AIADMK was a people's movement and showed thecountry that even a simple party worker can reach thepinnacle, he added.

He said Palaniswami had worked for the party fornearly 45 years 'and has grown steadily to reach this level.' 'Rajinkanth has made these remarks as an actor. If hehas to say something (on such matters), he has to start hisown movement. Time will tell whether that organisation willcreate a marvel,' Murugavel added. PTI SASS SS