Rajinikanth meets DMK chief Karunanidhi. Courtesy call, says Thalaivar

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CHENNAI: In an interesting twist, actor Rajinikanth, who played a crucial role in influencing the outcome of the 1996 assembly election that helped DMK-TMC win, called DMK boss M Karunanidhi at his residence Gopalapuram the Wednesday to seek his blessing for his political stay.

The meeting lasted only 15 minutes. But, Rajinikanth left a happy man.
“I told Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) that I entered politics.” He smiled and nodded as if welcoming me to politics, “Rajnikanth told reporters later. Karunanidhi, who has retired from politics, is rarely seen in public forums. His son and the acting president of DMK, MK Stalin, now has the reins of the party.

That the battle lines are clearly drawn between DMK and Rajinikanth was evident from the fact that the meeting lacked the usual cordiality extended to a friend or ally. There was no smile on Stalin’s face when he greeted the actor at the door and there was no other member of the family, senior leaders or DMK cadres to greet him. Karunanidhi’s personal secretary, K Shanmuganathan, was the only elderly person present.

Happy to meet Kalaignar, says Rajini

Arriving at the residence of Karunanidhi, Rajinikanth got out of his car and hurried inside, even as Stalin, with a somber expression, waited on the porch to welcome him. Cryptic in his reaction, Stalin told reporters later: “It’s

Tamil culture to welcome everyone in our house with a smiling face. It is not surprising that in Rajinikanth we meet Karunanidhi since both have also met in the past. The head of DMDK Vijayakanth also met Karunanidhi and got his blessings after starting a party

. He added, “There is talk that some part or individual is behind the actor who starts a party to face DMK. But history has shown that those who wanted to demolish the Dravidian parts have not survived because the soil of Tamil Nadu belongs to the Dravidian parts, “Stalin said.

For his part, Rajinikanth said: “Kalaignar is the most important politician in the country, I respect him very much, we have a very good friendship, I took his blessings when I entered politics, I am happy to know him,” he said warmly.

Their relationship dates back to the Assembly elections and Lok Sabha of 1996, when the motto of a line of Rajinikanth for the DMK-TMC alliance that even God can not save TN if Jayalalithaa turned out to be a turning point.

“I told Karunanidhi that I entered politics and wanted his blessings, but I did not talk about politics with Thalaivar,” Rajinikanth said.