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How Sterlite row transformed Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth’s onscreen rivalry into real-life rift

The reel-life rivalry between Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth seems to be spilling out of the silver screen to the political arena with the two camps hitting out at each other.

While Haasan slammed Rajinikanth for his comments on anti-Sterlite protest in which 13 people were killed in police firing in Thoothukudi on May 22, the superstar’s vocal supporter Tamilaruvi Manian hits out at Makkal Needhi Mariam founder saying that he trying to exploit anti-Rajini wave being created in the social media and television channels.

Haasan disagreed with Rajinikanth’s comment on anti-socials fuelled the violence in the anti-Sterlite protest and said, “If they’re (protestors) anti-social, so am I”. Haasan slammed the superstar who was facing the backlash for his comments on anti-Sterlite protestors during his visit to Thoothukudi on May 30 from political parties, activists and netizens in social media.

After meeting Karnataka chief minister in Bengaluru to discuss the contentious Cauvery river water sharing issue, Haasan said that his discussion with the CM did not revolve around the films (Kaala). “This discussion was nothing about films. There is a chamber to look into it. This (Cauvery issue) is more important,” he responded sharply to a query whether they discussed Rajinikanth’s Kaala.

Kamal’s meeting with Kumaraswamy also comes at a time when Rajinikanth’s Kaala is facing ban in Karnataka over the superstar’s comments on the Cauvery dispute.

Immediately after Haasan’s presser with Kumarasamy, former Congress leader Tamilaruvi Manian, issued a strongly worded statement, accusing MNM leader of attempting to fish in troubled water to make use of the anti-Rajini wave being created in the social media and some television channels in his favour.

Stating that Rajinikanth was not against any protests being held for the people’s welfare but was against the intrusion of anti-social elements in such protests, Manian who played a key role in the formation of a rainbow alliance under BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, said, “At a time when Rajinikanth is growing massively with people’s support, leaders and a few organisations are in fear that their dreams of becoming Chief Minister will be spoiled and they are trying to destroy his image, people can easily understand that the ulterior motive of Kamal Haasan is lending a helping hand to them.”

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