Rajinikanth recalls 1996 tiff with Jayalalithaa, and yet how she attended his daughter’s wedding

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“In 1996,” recalled Rajinikanth, “I criticised the government of Puratchi Thalaivi, I hurt her. I was an important reason for her to have lost in those elections. It had affected her a lot.”

Rajinikanth was speaking at the Raghavendra Kalyana mandapam in Chennai on Sunday, where actors from Kollywood paid homage to the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa and commentator Cho Ramaswamy.

A stoic Rajinikanth, with a hint of emotion in his voice, went on to state how in spite of the 1996 debacle, she graced his daughter’s wedding with her presence.

“Even after all that, when my daughter Aishwarya said that she wanted the wedding at our residence in Poes Garden, I wanted to invite her, since she was also a neighbor. But I was thinking, with what face will I go invite her, because of the events of the past,” the Superstar said.

“But I asked for an appointment nonetheless. The very next morning I was given one. She looked at the invite and said that she had another party member’s wedding on the same day, but she will postpone that and come for this instead,” he said.

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He also said, “She is like a diamond. All the criticism and suffering polished her. Despite the pressure from a patriarchal society, she shone like one (diamond) and now she rests, like a Kohinoor diamond, besides Puratchi Thalaivar MGR’s memorial.”

Jayalalithaa and Rajinikanth had an uneasy political relationship. Although he never made his thoughts about her public after the 1996 debacle, he did meet her to greet her when she won elections. He has also made no bones of his proximity to Narendra Modi during the 2014 elections, when AIADMK and BJP were fighting against each other.