Tamil film legend Rajinikanth has announced his political foray after years of speculation over it. As he is bracing up for the Assembly elections due in Tamil Nadu next summer, we take a look at the fate of a few film personalities from south India who tried their luck in the political theatre. History shows a few achieved dizzying heights in the political firmament, but others proved to be a damp squib.
The superstar of Telugu films N T Rama Rao formed the Telugu Desam Party in March 1982. In the elections to the undivided state assembly held within nine months of its formation, the Telugu Desam came to power with a massive majority and NTR became the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.
MGR and Jayalalithaa
The Superstar of Tamil film industry M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, left DMK and formed the Anna DMK in 1972. In the 1977 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections his party won a massive majority and MGR became the chief minister. His protege J Jayalalitha, a top actress, later took his party to greater heights and was at the helm of the Tamil Nadu government a few times.
Telugu film superstar Chiranjeevi formed his political outfit Praja Rajyam in August 2008. Though his party contested the 2009 Assembly elections, it could win only 19 seats in the 294-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly and secured victory in just one seat in the simultaneous Lok Sabha polls. He merged his party with the Congress in 2011.
In February 2018, Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan formed his political outfit - Makkal Neethi Maiyam. A year later he fielded candidates in the Lok Sabha elections but could not win even a single seat. His party could not make any impact in the bypolls to 22 Assembly seats either.
Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan resigned from Congress in 1988 and formed the Tamizhaga Munnetra Munnani. However, all 46 candidates including him, fielded by the party in Assembly elections, were defeated. In 1989 he merged his party with the Janata Dal.
The Tamil film hero formed his political outfit Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) in September 2005. Though the party fielded candidates in all Assembly seats, only Vijayakanth managed to win. As his party's prospects improved later, he even became the Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
Sharath Kumar and Karthik
The All-India Samatva Makkal Kakshi formed by Tamil actor Sharath Kumar in 2007 and the Nadalum Makkal Kakshi formed by Karthik in 2008 could not make any impact in Tamil Nadu politics.