Modi’s Hunt, Rajini’s Waiver

May 27 2018

It is clear by now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched BJP’s 2019 campaign already, and he knows full well the power of facing a united opposition, which is giving him and running mate Amit Shah sleepless nights. So while in foreign affairs, Modi says: “Look East”, in his domestic policy, it is “Look South”. Modi is now on the prowl for poaching down south and look for newer friends. Insiders in the party tell us that last fortnight, southern never-say-die hero Rajinikanth unexpectedly flew out to Delhi. From the airport, where the carriage was waiting, he was driven straight to 7 Race Course Road, where the PM was waiting to have lunch with him. Krishnamurthi, a legal expert and known to be close to the PM, is being said to be the architect of this lunch politics. In fact, he is known to be equally close to Rajini. Most of the meeting was a nice political rumination, but when Rajini told the PM that he needs some more time to make up his mind on whether to join the BJP or start a party of his own, Modi smiled. But at the completion of lunch, Rajini after all spoke his mind. Sources say that Rajini’s wife had earlier taken two large loans from Bank of Baroda and Oriental Bank of Commerce to run her realty business. Rajini wants these loans to be ‘settled’ and the interest accrued on them be waived off. He said: “In the past I had sent you this request three times, and you had assured me on this too. But till date, no one from your office has even spoken to us on this.” The PM realised how much politics is in Rajini’s DNA. The fact remains that BJP needs new friends in the south. The DMK has clearly said that joining the BJP would dissipate its core vote bank of Dalits, Muslims and Christians, so any arrangement with the saffron party could be considered only after the elections. The BJP had been contemplating aligning with the AIADMK, but it now seems to them that there could be more loss than gain. Which is why Amit Shah is in dialogue with new friends like YSR Congress’ Jaganmohan Reddy.

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