Nothing political about meeting Modi says ‘good friend’ Rajinikanth
Chennai: BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday met Tamil superstar Rajinikant at his residence here, setting off speculation, but the actor termed it as a courtesy call and said no political significance should be attached to it.
Rajinikant said he was a "well-wisher" of Modi and wished him "all the best" while Modi described the superstar as a "good friend".
"This is not a political meeting. When Modiji visited me when I was hospitalised, I had invited him to have a cup of tea with me whenever he came to Chennai. So he has come now,"
Rajinikant told reporters outside his Poes Garden residence. Answering questions by media persons in the company of Modi, Rajinikant, dressed in starched white shirt and dhoti, said, "I am happy he is here."
Shaking hands and then hugging each other in front of the huge gathering of his fans, who had thronged his residence to get a glimpse of their superstar, Rajinikant said, "He is my well-wisher and I'm his well-wisher."
Modi's meeting with Rajinikant ahead of April 24 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu where BJP has stitched an alliance of six parties fuelled speculation that the saffron party leader was likely to seek the superstar's support.
Rajinikant has been maintaining steadfastly his apolitical stand.
However, the actor, who has a vast fan following, wished Modi, "All the best!"
Quickly responding, Modi, dressed in a saffron shirt and dhoti, said, "I wished him on the eve of Tamil New Year. He is a good friend."
Modi, who arrived at the airport, drove straight to Rajinikant's residence where the meeting lasted briefly and pleasantries were exchanged.
Rajinikant also dubbed Mr Modi as a "strong leader and able administrator" after the Gujarat chief minister called on him, but termed their meeting as courtesy call, in tune with his long maintained apolitical stand.
"Everyone knows that he (Modi) is a strong leader and able administrator. He is my well-wisher and I am his well wisher. I wish him all the best for his future. All the time God should be always with him. I pray God whenever he thinks, whatever he thinks should happen," Rajinikant said in an obvious reference to Modi's ambition to become Prime Minister.
Posing for the media outside his residence, thronged by a huge gathering of fans, the actor shook hands and hugged Modi and said, "I am happy he is here."
Rajinikant, who keeps a good distance from politics, in a clear attempt to send a message to the people of the state and also his fans, speaking to the press with Modi at his side, said, "This is not a political meeting."
In an attempt to put at rest speculation doing the rounds whether he would express support to the saffron party, Rajinikant, said, "When Modiji visited me when I was hospitalised, I had invited him to have a cup of tea with me whenever he came to Chennai. So he has come now."
Responding to his good wishes, Modi, dressed in a saffron shirt and dhoti, said, "I wished him on the eve of Tamil New Year. He is a good friend."
Modi, who was in Chennai to attend AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa's swearing-in as Chief Minister on May 16, 2011, had visited Rajinikant at a private hospital where he was undergoing treatment for respiratory problems and wished him speedy recovery.
Soon after his arrival here from electioneering in Karnataka, Modi drove to the residence of Rajinikant from the airport and spent about 30 minutes.
Modi, also posted a picture of him with the 'Superstar' on Twitter.
It was not immediately known whether the meeting between the two ended just with exchanging of pleasantries and greetings or there was any political discussion in the backdrop of April 24 polls, which the BJP is contesting as part of a six-party alliance headed by it.