"Thamizhachi Thamizarukey, Kannadiga nadigar Rajinikanth oziga", chanted protesters (A Tamil should rule Tamils, Kannadiga actor Rajinikanth down down).
His speech last week was the biggest hint in over two decades that he could join politics. Mr Gadkari went on to say that Rajinikanth has a strong support base and is a "great human being". Similarity AP politics has been also linked to celluloid glamour.
Rajini's fans believe their "Thalaivar" or leader can fill that void.
Rajinikanth's statements during a recent meet-and-greet with fans fuelled a years-long buzz about his debut in electoral politics.
He also asserting his Tamil identity, the bedrock of Dravidian politics.
The system was "rotten", he said, despite the presence of "efficient" leaders such as the DMK's M K Stalin and the PMK's Anbumani Ramadoss. Both Jayalalithaa and her mentor Ramachandran were screen icons who became politicians. "Although I came as a Marathi from Karnataka, you people nurtured me, made me a true Tamilian", he said.
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"When war comes they will come to the rescue of their motherland".
This may not be a surprise for Rajini fans, who were signaled the same - "Get ready for war".
This is not the first time Rajinikanth has been targeted over his connection with Karnataka.
"I have very good relations with Rajinikanth".
It was often asked if Rajinikanth was Tamil, he said, and then provided his fans - and the state - with the answer. "As a friend who has known him for 35-40 years what I think is he will not join any national or regional party". Now, there are many speculations of his entry into politics. "If I have to live anywhere in this world that will be in Tamil Nadu", he said. But now, he recently played a cricket match in the U.S. but I skipped watching it because his time is over. In past MGR and Jayalaithaa had dominated the state politics.