Rajinikanth calls Narendra Modi a `good friend`, `strong leader`

By Sushmita Dutta | Last Updated: Monday, April 14, 2014 - 00:41

Zee Media Bureau

Chennai: Bharatiya Janata Party`s (BJP) prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi met superstar Rajinikanth at his Poes Garden residence here on Sunday evening.

Ruling out any political motive behind this meeting, the Gujarat chief minister maintained that the meet is a courtesy call on the occasion of Tamil new year today. Modi will address a public rally here post the meeting which will be his first ever rally here after the elections were announced.
Modi also posted a picture of him with the actor on Twitter:

Addressing reporters after the meet was over, Rajini said, “This is not a political meeting. Narendra Modi is my well-wisher and I am his well-wisher.”

Modi ji met me earlier as well when I was hospitalised and at that time I invited him over a cup of tea whenever he is in Chennai. We are good friends. This was a courtesy call. When I was unwell, Modi ji wished me well. We wish him well in the elections” the superstar added.

He further said, “This is the reason Modi ji has come today to meet me on the occasion of Tamil new year. We all know he is a strong leader and an able administrator.”

The Gujarat CM responded, "I wish you all a happy Tamil New Year`s Day".

They hugged each other and the BJP`s PM candidate left soon after.

Modi, who arrived at the airport, drove straight to Rajinikant`s residence where the meeting lasted briefly and pleasantries were exchanged.

Rajinikant, who enjoys a cult status, has been maintaining a safe distance from political parties, despite being lured by political outfits.

Modi, who was in Chennai to attend AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa`s swearing-in as Chief Minister on May 16, 2011, had also visited a private hospital where Rajinikant was undergoing treatment for respiratory problems and wished him speedy recovery.

It was during that meeting Rajinikant had invited Modi to his residence.

But political analysts seems to have a different opinion over this high profile meeting as they think that BJP is trying to galvanise voters in Tamil Nadu through this meeting.

The meeting assumes significance as Modi visited the actor in the run up to the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, where BJP is contesting in a six-party rainbow alliance.

BJP sources said yesterday that Modi would go to the superstar`s residence for a "personal meeting" before addressing a public meeting here.

Asked whether the meeting could have any implication for Lok Sabha elections, the source said "it is a personal meeting" but hastened to add that "Narendra Modi and elections cannot be separated."

Last month, MK Alagiri, the elder son of DMK president M Karunanidhi also had a meeting with Rajinikanth.
Although, Alagiri also denied discussing politics but the meeting was considered to woo Rajini so that the voters could be influenced.

Talking to the media, Alagiri had said that he came to meet Rajinikanth for peace of mind.

"No, I did not discuss politics with him. I never discussed politics with him. Rajini is my old friend. I came here to inquire about his health. I congratulated him for the good lyrics in Kochadaiiyaan, that`s all," he said.

Alagiri, 63, had been suspended from the party for anti-party activities and speaking against his younger brother MK Stalin, who is considered by many as the frontrunner to take over the party from his father.



First Published: Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 19:49

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