Chennai: South megastar Rajinikanth on Sunday spoke glowingly of J Jayalalithaa, who died last week, and remarked that he had “hurt her” by making critical statements that, he said, damaged her party in a state election 20 years ago.Read more ↓
Speaking at a condolence meeting, Rajinikanth described Ms Jayalalithaa as a “Kohinoor diamond” who rose to great heights in a male-dominated society.
“I had hurt her. I was a key reason for her (party’s) defeat,” said Rajinikanth, who turns 66 today but has urged fans not to celebrate his birthday in mourning for Jayalalithaa.
Before the 1996 Tamil Nadu assembly polls, Rajinikanth had famously commented that “even God can’t save Tamil Nadu” if Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK returned to power.
Rival DMK then swept the election, riding a wave of anti-incumbency.
Rajinikanth said Jayalalithaa, his neighbour at Chennai’s Poes Garden, later proved to be a leader with a golden heart.
Elaborating on his “Kohinoor diamond” analogy for the politician, the actor said she faced many difficulties before taking charge of the AIADMK after the death of its founder MG Ramachandran or MGR, her mentor and co-star in several films.
The challenges of life further polished her, said Rajinikanth. “Today, she is resting like a Kohinoor diamond at the MGR memorial site and enjoys the love and affection of so many people,” he said.
Rajinikanth said Jayalalithaa lost her father at the age of two and her mother 20 years later, but achieved fame with her hard work.
Jayalalithaa died at 68 on December 5 in Chennai’s Apollo hospital, where she was hospitalised on September 22. Lakhs of people paid tribute to her at Rajaji Hall, where she was kept before being buried with state honours at the Marina Beach, alongside MGR.
Jayalalithaa and Rajinikanth never co-starred in films but were cordial over the past few years.
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