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Fans association sends jitters to PMK
Monday, 05 April , 2004, 14:22
Chennai, April 5: Though megastar Rajinikant''s popularity is yet to be gauged in the Lok Sabha polls, the stand-off between PMK and the star''s Fans'' association has sent jitters to PMK on the one hand, and appears to be giving a boost to BJP-AIADMK combine, on the other.

Rajinikant Fans'' Association has decided to work against PMK nominees to ensure their defeat in all the five seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Pondicherry.

The seeds of feud between PMK and the megastar was sown about two years ago, when the PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss had asked his partymen to boycott the Rajinikant film ''Baba'' as it allegedly incited of violence. He also alleged that the youth took up smoking seeing the mega star''s stylish way doing so in his movies.

Following PMK''s protest against smoking, well-known film producing company AVM announced that its movies would not contain such smoking scenes.

PMK was also against fan clubs for actors, as it felt that the energy of youth, who formed the clubs, were diverted to ''unproductive purposes''. PMK youth wing volunteers headed by Dr R Anbumani, son of Dr Ramadoss, were also barred from joining any fan clubs.

Due to the protest by PMK, the film became a ''flop'' and Rajinikant even returned the money to the film distributors, who purchased the distributorship at a fabulous amount.

Rajinikant fans were waiting for an opportune moment to strike back and when the Lok Sabha polls were announced, they decided to work against PMK nominees in all the six seats allotted to it.

The attack, allegedly by the security men of Ramadoss at Madurai on April 2 on Rajinikant''s fans, when they attempted to stage a black flag demonstration against him, had only aggravated the issue.

Rajinikant, expressing his shock over the incident, said he would open his mind when he returned to Chennai from Sringeri in Karnataka in the next few days time. Though he wanted to call on his injured fans, he had decided against it as it would create further tension, he said.

Rajinikant''s fans played a major role in bringing DMK to power during the 1996 assembly polls in the state. However, the megastar himself remained neutral in the subsequent polls.

Rajinikant''s decision to disassociate himself from the Tamil film''s industry protest at Neyveli Lignite Corporation on the Cauvery issue had alienated him from the rest in the industry. However, his fast at Chennai, demanding linking of all Indian rivers and the announcement of Rs.1 crore as his contribution for the project was well received by the people of the state.

Though the fans had decided to oppose only the PMK nominees, reports received here suggested that fans were working for the AIADMK-BJP nominees in all the constituencies.

Even before the impact of Rajinikant''s fans decision was yet to be assessed, another leading star, Kamal Hassan had asked his fans not to support or oppose any political party in the coming polls.

His latest movie ''Virumandi'' received protests from the Puthiya Tamizhagam chief Dr K Krishnasamy even before the movie was released on the plea that it would trigger off communal riots in the state and Kamal Hassan had to stop the film shooting near Theni due to threat of protest by Krishansamy''s men.

Ultimately, he had to change the title of the movie from ''Sandiyar'' (rowdy) to ''Virumandi''. (Our Correspondent)

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