Tamil superstar and aspiring politician Rajinikanth on Friday stated he is ready to contest assembly elections in Tamil Nadu “whenever” the state goes to the polls.
“Whenever it is announced I am ready. I will decide after May 23,” news agency ANI quoted Rajinikanth as saying to a question whether he will contest state polls if AIADMK falls short of a majority in the just held assembly bypolls.
Tamil Nadu voted for 18 assembly seats along with 38 Lok Sabha seats in the second phase of the national elections on Thursday. The assembly bypolls are crucial for the stability of the AIADMK government in the state.
The state government will come into a minority if it fails to perform well in the bypolls. The total strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly is 234. There are 22 vacancies at present. Bypolls were held for 18 assembly seats.
The AIADMK government needs at least 116 seats for a majority on the floor after May 23 when the election results will be announced. The AIADMK currently has 114 excluding the Speaker. The party has been facing troubles.
Three AIADMK MLAs have recently turned Independent and it is not clear if they will vote for the government if floor test is carried after the election results are announced.
Another three MLAs of the party declared their support to TTV Dhinakaran, the rebel leader who won the RK Nagar bypoll in Chennai. This was the assembly constituency from which late chief minister J Jayalalithaa used to contest.
The twin developments have made AIADMK vulnerable in a test of strength on the floor of the assembly fueling speculation that the Tamil Nadu may see mid-term polls. The tenure of the current Tamil Nadu assembly ends in 2021.
Rajinikanth had previously said that he would file candidates in all 234 assembly constituencies in 2021 Tamil Nadu polls. In December 2017, Rajinikanth had announced entering politics with his own political outfit.