Narendra Modi’s meeting with Rajinikanth fails to strike a chord with Tamil voters in Mumbai.
Tamilians residing in Mumbai are not impressed with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s meeting with superstar Rajinikanth as they are only seeing it as a ploy of the party to lure voters. The BJP whose performance in Tamil Nadu has been mediocre for the last 15 years is banking on Rajinikanth’s star power to connect with voters. Since the actor has a huge fan support in Tamil Nadu BJP wants to cash in on his image to attract the masses for winning few seats in the elusive southern state.
Vijay Aiyar a Kandivali resident said, “We are not going to get influenced by Modi’s meeting with Rajinikant. We will vote for a candidate who will work for the welfare of masses.”
Rajnish Vanamali a resident of Nallasopara said, “We respect Rajinikanth but that doesn’t mean we are going to vote for a candidate supported by him.”
CK Subramaniam a retired banker and cricket coach from Sanpada, Navi Mumbai said, “Narendra Modi is playing vote bank politics in a clever manner. Rajinikanth is the most respected actor in the film industry and popular across the world. His blockbuster film Kochadaiiaan is scheduled to be released after the elections and the wave length between South Indian superstar and the Prime Ministerial Candidate is assuming greater importance. Modi is having a political acumen and just a visit to Poes Garden can bring him sufficient votes all over India and give a shock to AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa as she is also staying in the same street.”
Suresh Raman an idli vendor from Dharavi said, “I won’t be disclosing about which party I will vote for. But this time around Modi wave is prevailing hence I am sure that there is some positivity about him and people are chanting his slogans. If Rajinikant appeals us to vote for Modi then I will support him.”
BJP will have to really win atleast 20 per cent of seats in south Indian states to improve its prospects to form a government at the centre. Even though the saffron party had formed alliance with several regional parties in Tamil Nadu but it has not been able to increase the tally of seats in the state. Modi met the super star at his Chennai residence on Sunday. The party nonetheless termed it as a personal meeting between the duo and said that it had nothing to do with politics.
AV also spoke to residents of Dana Bunder which is known as mini Tamil Nadu as the area has large number of Tamilians. Here is what they had to say.
Junaid said, “So far in India Tamilians have been denied justice and they were always deprived of their basic human rights. In Mumbai people have never considered us as Indians and politicians approach us for votes. Jo haath ke saath woh apne saath. I am diehard fan of Rajinikanthji and hence pay my hard earned money to watch his movie but we are not buying his endorsement for Modi.”
Mr Rajan who will cast his vote for the first time said, “Tamilians have their own share of problems and Modi might not have discussed about this matter with Thalaiva. Modi never spoke about welfare of Tamilians and fisherman arrested in Sri Lanka. Tamilians are Dravidians but nobody considered them as Indians. I won’t vote for Modi.”
Pakhi said, “Since we had migrated to Mumbai we are compared to Bangladeshi migrants and people address us lungi, pungi, anna and Madrasi. Congress has always stood by common people like us therefore we could reside peacefully in Maharashtra.”
When AV asked Pakhi whether she was harassed during BJP’s reign in Maharashtra she replied, “Lungi hatao aur pungi bajao.”
Punnuswamy said, “A political party which offers us right to vote, reside and provides other facilities wherever we go that party matters to me. We don’t like BJP because Shiv Sena is its alliance partner which has failed to curb corruption. If BJP comes to power then Sena too will be a part of it. The lesser evil will come to power this time.”