CHENNAI: Actor Rajinikanth, who has been toying with the idea of taking a plunge in politics for long, assured to keep his promise, of contributing `one crore for inter-linking of rivers, he made about 15 years ago, when a delegation of farmers visited him on Sunday.
The actor expressed his readiness to hand over the sum immediately when farmers led by P Ayyakannu visited him at his Poes Garden residence here.
“Actor Rajinikanth said he was ready to hand over `one crore to us. But we told him we are not the right persons to receive the sum, instead requested him to hand it over to the Prime Minister,” Ayyakannu told reporters, adding that the actor promised to take up the matter with the Prime Minister as well.
Explaining his visit to Rajinikanth’s residence, he said that leaders of farmers from other States, during a meeting in Delhi recently, had asked as to why Tamil Nadu ryots had not approached the actor and asked him to shell out the sum he promised.
“So, we went to Rajinikanth’s residence today and asked him when he will contribute the sum”, he said.
According to Ayyakannu, Rajinikanth said the mission of inter-linking peninsular rivers could begin with Mahanadhi, Godavari, Krishna, Palar and Cauvery and hailed the mental wherewithal of the farmers who were on a long stir in New Delhi where they staged different forms of protest recently.
It may be noted that Rajinikanth, who had recently dropped hints of taking a plunge in politics, was forced to observe a fast in Chennai in October 2002, after coming under attack from his film fraternity over the Cauvery issue.
At the end of the hunger strike, he announced that he was ready to give `one crore for the purpose of inter-liking of rivers, which he termed was the lasting solution to the perennial river water sharing issue.
Ayyakannu, while spelling out the future course of action, said the protests in New Delhi would resume on July 6 pressing for the demands of waiver of crop loan availed from nationalised banks, ensuring remunerative prices for agricultural produce, constitution of Cauvery Management Board and crop insurance.