Chennai: Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday said the BJP losing elections in the Hindi heartland states of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and a close contest with arch rival Congress in Madhya Pradesh showed it has "lost its influence."
Reacting to BJP's loss, Makkal Needhi Maiam Chief Kamal Haasan in a tweet said, "First sign of a new start. This is people's verdict."
Speaking to reporters at the airport in Chennai, Rajinikanth said, "It clearly shows that BJP has lost its influence."
The electoral reverses for the saffron party were also a "setback" for it, he added.
The top actor's comments came in the wake of Congress trumping BJP in clear mandates in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to form governments, even as a close race was on the cards in Madhya Pradesh when reports last came in.
Asked about his earlier assertion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to be a 'strong' man and the BJP still losing despite the former's campaign in these states, the 67-year-old actor said, "it (the losses) is certainly a big setback for the BJP."
"There is no doubt about that," he added.
Rajinikanth, who had announced that he would take the political plunge, had last month virtually thrown his weight behind Modi, saying the PM was 'stronger' than '10 persons' aligning against him.
"When 10 persons go against one person, who is stronger? Those 10, or the persons they are aligning against. If 10 persons declare a war against one man, who is stronger," he had told reporters in Chennai when questioned on the possibility of an alliance by opposition parties against PM Modi and his BJP.