Rajinikanth gifts houses to Cyclone Gaja victims, BJP leader invites him to join party

Janardhan Koushik
The beneficiaries were invited to the Superstar's residence in Poes Garden where they were handed over the house keys.

Keeping his promise, actor-politician Rajinikanth has handed over keys of newly built houses to 10 people in Tamil Nadu whose residences got damaged last year due to Cyclone Gaja, which claimed about 52 lives in the state.

The houses were constructed at a cost of Rs 18.5 lakh by members of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), the launchpad to his proposed political outfit, in fishing hamlets like Kodikkarai, Arkatuthurai and Thalainayar. The constructions were completed by October this year and the beneficiaries were handed over the keys at the superstar's residence in Poes Garden.

In November 2018, Rajinikanth had promised that he would construct concrete houses for the cyclone victims in Nagapattinam district, one of the worst affected areas.

RMM, which was launched by Rajinikanth in 2017, has been actively involved in various social welfare activities in recent years. During the cyclone, the office-bearers of the outfit provided relief materials worth Rs 50 lakh. This year, when acute water shortage gripped Chennai, the outfit supplied drinking water free of cost in various parts of the city.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu leader and former Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan appealed to Rajinikanth to join BJP ahead of 2021 Assembly elections. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at Pudukkottai, Radhakrishnan said, "If Rajinikanth flaunts his political outfit, I welcome that. But, I want him to join BJP."

While Rajinikanth is yet to respond to Radhakrishnan, the BJP leader's remark has evoked a rejoinder from Congress.  "Rajinikanth won't launch his political party. Even if he does that or joins BJP, Tamil Nadu is not going to benefit. Those who engage in spirituality won't enter politics," Congress leader KS Alagiri said.