CHENNAI: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami continued to target Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth on his “leadership vacuum” remark and dismissed the actor’s statement as “trivial.”
“Is Rajini a political leader? He is only an actor. Did any political leader say there is leadership vacuum (in Tamil Nadu),” Mr. Palaniswami asked. Aiming to make Rajini’s statement sound less significant, the CM wondered if it was wise to react to comments expressed by persons who are unrelated to politics.
“How can one conclude on the remarks of a person who is unrelated to politics?” Mr. Palanisami, who is AIADMK co-coordinator, asked when his attention was drawn to the issue of vacuum as claimed by Rajnikanth, and said that media was publicising these remarks to create sensation.
Interestingly, ruling AIADMK’s ally and BJP senior Pon Radhakrishnan on Sunday endorsed the actor’s view. “Yes, there is a vacuum. There is no doubt about that. It is because two of the tallest leaders of the State — Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi — are not alive. They were very big leaders who had the support of the people,” Mr. Radhakrishnan told reporters in Chennai. Asked if he did not consider DMK president M.K. Stalin and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami good enough, the former Union Minister Radhakrishnan replied, “will anyone compare others to these two great leaders [Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi] who are not alive? It’s not about talent. It’s about ability to attract people and how you are able to govern.” “No one has abilities equivalent to those leaders,” he added.
Speaking to reporters at the airport here on Monday, Mr. Palaniswami said the results of recent by-polls to the two Assembly constituencies (Vikravandi and Nanguneri) in Tamil Nadu had proved that there was no political vacuum in the State.
On the local body elections, the Chief Minister said the dates have to be announced by the Election Commission. AIADMK’s alliance during the Lok Sabha elections will continue for the local body elections too, he said....