Films and politics have always been compatible bedfellows, with many stars smoothly making the transition from films to politics, using their vast fan base to leverage support for the political party they embrace. Now there is every indication that Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay is methodically and systematiccally preparing to enter the political scenario in Tamil Nadu.

At present the star may be busy wrapping up his under-production flicks like Nanban with director Shankar, Velayudham with Raja and signing films with biggies like AR Murugadoss, but sources close to the actor say that he is also simultaneously inching towards his ultimate aim — politics. “Vijay is waiting patiently and will strike at the right time,” opines a close aide of the Kaavalan star. Reportedly, Vijay’s every move is being carefully watched in political circles. This is a consequence of the common perception that most of his decisions are politically significant.

Today, the actor has convened a huge gathering of his Makkal Iyakkam at Salem and the star’s fans from all over the state are expected to attend this conference. Vijay and his dad S.A.Chandrashekaran reiterate that the aim of this maanadu is to distribute relief and welfare measures to the needy and to enroll new members for the Iyakkam, which already has a base of more than `25 lakhs, it is learnt.

SAC categorically claimed that the Iyakkam is not a political outfit and that they supported AIADMK in the recent elections only to bring about a political change in the state. Despite these assertions, political analysts predict that all these maanadus and Vijay's regular meetings with his fan club office-bearers, is a clear indication of the Iyakkam turning into a political movement sooner or later. “The total fan base will be converted into a vote bank and the actor will declare his intention at an appropriate time,“ the source adds. When Vijay, who was shooting for Nanban at a posh city nightclub, was contacted by this newspaper, all he had to say was, “Primarily, I am strengthening my Makkal Iyakkam and its base. I meet them regularly to get to their feedback on various issues, including politics.“

He had no qualms about admitting unhesitatingly, “Yes, there is every possibility that my Iyakkam will become a political movement over the years.“ The actor did add that he had a long way to go in politics and that films were his priority now. Busy with back-to-back films, Vijay is hard-pressed for time and it's tough for him to take a break and go on holiday. “Holiday?“ he echoed. “That sounds nice. But now it's my work that has become a holiday for me! Also, I have to plan my holidays so that they coincide with my children's school breaks rather than my breaks!“ he quipped.

The actor is leaving for Salem on Saturday night to address the huge gathering.

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