Superstar Rajinikanth broke his five-year-long silence on political issues and appeared on television to condemn Karunanidhi's arrest.
This assumes significance in light of the fact that it was Rajinikanth who cobbled together the DMK-TMC alliance that swept Jayalalitha's AIADMK out of power in the previous election.
Rajinikanth had prior to the election carried on a one-man crusade against Jayalalitha, helping to build a groundswell of opinion through his fan clubs with a cadre base estimated in millions.
Though there were no public signs of a falling out, Rajinikanth had during the Karunanidhi regime distanced himself from the ruling coalition he had personally cobbled together. Further, he had remained tight-lipped through the campaigning phase of the recent assembly election that saw the landslide victory of the AIADMK and the virtual wipeout of the DMK.
His silence was seen as a token of his disenchantment with the DMK and an easing of his hardline stance against Jayalalitha. With his hard-hitting statement of Saturday evening condemning the arrest of Karunanidhi and the flouting of all human norms by the Jayalalitha government, Rajinikanth appears to have come out of his political isolation and, in the process, swelled the ranks of those opposed to the chief minister.