From All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder MG Ramachandran to the latest political entrant Rajinikanth, several reel heroes have started their own political parties, but not many able to make a successful political career. If MGR’s AIADMK was a runaway success in the state, some of the parties floated by the actors have failed miserably.
Unlike MGR, Rajinikanth was a reluctant politician. His first political statement was a public call to defeat the then Jayalalithaa government in 1996 polls. The DMK-led alliance swept the elections. In 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Rajinikanth asked his supporters to work against PMK which contested in six seats in the DMK-Congress alliance. The alliance won all the 39 LS seats in the state. Amid speculation of his imminent political entry during his every movie release, Rajinikanth finally announced his plunge on the last day of December 2017. After long deliberation, he has now announced that the date of his party launch would be declared on December 31.
Kamal Haasan has no political connection until he launched his party in February 2018. His party contested in the 2019 LS polls and polled four per cent of total votes.
After the success of MGR, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founded by Vijayakanth in 2005 had made an impact in the state politics only to lose its way subsequently. After emerging as a main opposition party in the Assembly in 2011, the DMDK was routed in the 2016 Assembly polls and 2019 LS elections where it failed to win even one seat. Sivaji Ganesan, a contemporary of MGR, floated his own party Thamizhaga Munnetra Munnani in 1988 and contested the 1989 state polls in alliance with MGR’s widow Janaki headed AIADMK faction, but it failed miserably. Actor-director K Bhagyaraj, who MGR declared as his successor in the world of arts, launched the MGR Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in 1989, but it died in infancy.
Actor Sarath Kumar, who founded the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi in 2007 and T Rajendhar, who floated the All India Lakshiya Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was a failure. Actor and comedian Karunas founded Mukkalathor Pullippadai, a caste outfit in 2016 and contested in Tiruvadanai Assembly seat in the AIADMK symbol and won.