Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram is disappointed with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth's statement on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He said he would have explained to Rajinikanth why CAA is discriminatory and violates Article 14 of the Constitution.

Over a month since widespread protests broke out across India against the CAA, actor Rajinikanth opened up on the controversial bill on Wednesday. The superstar said that the opposition parties were misleading the public about the act. He said that the National Population Register (NPR) was very essential and needed to be implemented.

P Chidambaram
P ChidambaramReuters

"The NPR is very essential. Congress has done it in 2010 and also it was done in 2015. It needs to be done to identify those who are Indians/who are foreigners -- which country they are from. Shouldn't we know this? It is very, very essential and it has to be done. I don't know what problem others have with this," Rajinikanth told reporters.

Rajinikanth added that the act is about giving citizenship to people who have come from neighbouring countries and raised the question of how it will affect Indian Muslims. 

"The Muslims in India decided to stay back here during Partition stating that India is their land and that they will live and die here. How can they be sent out? If something like that happens, I will be the first one to speak out," said the superstar. 

Rajinikanth in Darbar
A movie picture from Rajinikanth's Darbar.PR Handout

Meanwhile, Rajinikanth also requested the students who are protesting against the CAA to understand the CAA, NRC and NPR. The Tamil actor said, "Please do proper research on the subject, ask your parents and professors about this issue and then protest. Otherwise, political leaders will use you. Nobody knows how police will react. If an FIR is lodged, then it will become an issue in your life."

Many celebs have already expressed their support with the CAA and defended the Government's move. However, nobody with the stature of Rajinikanth had come out in support of the act so far.

The support of Rajini, who is set to float his own party and contest upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu, is a big boost for the Centre. However, his comments have angered many leaders from the opposition parties.

P Chidambaram
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram at Rouse Avenue court complex in New DelhiIANS

Late in the evening, P Chidambaram took to Twitter to express his displeasure over Rajini's comments on CAA.

He tweeted, "Disappointed with Mr.Rajnikanth's statement on CAA. If he had asked me, I would've explained to him why the CAA is discriminatory and violates Art 14 of the Constitution. I think we could create an opportunity when the discriminatory provisions of CAA can be explained to Mr.Rajnikanth."