Technology may be Rajinikanth’s co-star in duel with parties

CHENNAI: Actor Rajinikanth’s announcement on Sunday of his plans to launch a political party may not be just a whimsical statement to buy peace with lakhs of his fans with growing aspirations. He had been doing a lot of homework+ and much more, besides consulting select expert groups for orientation of thoughts. His statement to take the political plunge has come as a surprise to many, given his past dithering and reluctance.

A day after announcing his decision to enter politics, superstar Rajinikanth on Monday launched a website to help his followers register their names in the All India Rajinikanth Fans Association.

The basic initiative was getting to know Tamil Nadu’s geo-political and agrarian issues by sending out select teams across the state looking for specific data and solutions. A technology team will then get into action and analyse it adopting the data analytics approach, it is learnt.

“A large number of his die-hard fans are well entrenched abroad, especially in the IT industry in the US. While they have done well for themselves, they are fully backing Rajinikanth in his mission to change the system here. A sizeable funding too will come from there,” a person in the know told TOI on a condition of anonymity.’

“They are completely prepared. As and when the political party is launched, it will be one of the strongest technology-backed initiative to hit the political theatre in the state, with complete data support for every constituency and segments within. That is the only way the team thinks Rajinikanth could take on the might of the two Dravidian parties. Success or failure comes next,” said the source.

Work on to find possible candidates

On another front, there is a feeling within, that among the lakhs of the star’s fans, at least 60% of them could have been impacted (read corrupted) by the present system and hence efforts will be underway using analytics to keep them away from positions in the party.

“Even the list of fans who met the star and took a photograph with him in the recent times, was highly filtered to keep out unwanted elements,” said another source, involved in the exercise.

A section of the BJP brass is keen on an alliance with Rajinikanth, who has announced that he will float his own political party before the 2021 state polls in Tamil Nadu, even as the saffron party weighs its options to make inroads in the southern state.

Technology support and funds alone may not help fulfill the mission, for which he needsthe right people and the right candidates.

Another team is working on that by sounding out friends and looking for right candidates for all the 234 assembly segments.

“The idea is to prepare a list of prospective candidates, based on a certain criteria, and with a capacity to spend at least Rs1crore. But, on one condition — the money spent should be used for a service, and the candidate should not be looking to take it back with returns,” another source pointed out.

The idea of money could trigger a set of unwanted questions, especially in a state where electoral politics thrives on voter bribery.

“Surely, here the money is not for that. Establishing a party, campaigning and running for elections is an expensive affair given the logistics involved and it needs involved support,” the source said.


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