Superstar Rajinikanth and DMK chief MK Stalin separately met Dravida Munnetra Desiya Kazhagam (DMDK) president Vijayakant at his residence on Friday in Chennai. With AIADMK-BJP also trying to rope in DMDK in their alliance, Stalin’s meeting with Vijayakanth has set tongues wagging in the Tamil Nadu political arena.
Rajinikanth, who had last week announced that he would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, said his meeting with the DMDK chief was a courtesy visit.
"There is not a single drop of politics in this meeting. I share a good bonding with Vijayakant. He is a good man. When I was ill and got admitted to Ramachandra Hospital, Captain Vijayakant was the first one to visit me. Even when I went to the US for treatment, he used to call me to check about my health. I wasn't able to meet him when he was undergoing treatment in the US. So I just came to visit him," Rajinikanth said.
A few hours later, Stalin paid a visit to Vijayakant’s house in Saligramam, saying he came to meet the DMDK chief on humanitarian grounds.
"Though I am younger to him, he always used to call me Anna (brother). Vijayakanth has great respect towards our leader Kalaingar. When our leader passed away, Vijayakant was in the US, so he sent out a very emotional video message that all of us remember. After returning to Chennai, he went to Kalaingar memorial straight from the airport to pay his respects to our beloved leader. I wish for his long life and good health to serve the people of Tamil Nadu," Stalin told reporters.
The AIADMK has already held talks with the DMDK leadership. According to reports, Vijayakant is unwilling to settle for anything less than seven Lok Sabha seats — similar to the number allocated to Ramadoss-led Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
On Tuesday, the AIADMK and the BJP announced that they would contest the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry together along with other NDA allies and sealed a pact in which the saffron party will contest five of the 39 seats in the state.
Meanwhile, the DMDK has invited applications from its prospective candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. "Yes, we have invited application from our party members. Anything could happen during elections, everyone has a strategy. In a week's time our Captain will announce our stand on the alliance," said DMDK treasurer Premalatha Vijaykanth.