The BJP's Poonam Mahajan met Rajinikanth on Sunday evening, setting off much buzz at a time the south superstar has hinted at warming up to politics. BJP sources, however, dismissed the meeting as a "courtesy call"
Poonam Mahajan, a parliamentarian from Mumbai, called on Rajinikanth at his Poes Garden home in Chennai, where the veteran's wife was also present.
"It was wonderful meeting with Rajinikanth. He supports me personally...He knew my father," Ms Mahajan told NDTV, adding, "He lives in everyone's heart in Tamil Nadu".
Photographs of the meeting were posted on Twitter and fueled speculation about its political significance for both sides.
The 36-year-old BJP youth wing leader Poonam Mahajan was in the Tamil Nadu capital for a rally.
Sources said Ms Mahajan will work with Mrs Rajinikanth on an education project as part of the "Global Citizen" initiative. They also pointed out that her father Pramod Mahajan, a former union minister killed in 2006, was also a good friend of the actor.
Rumours about Rajinikanth joining politics and launching his own party have been in circulation in the state since the legendary actor's comments in May.
"If God wills it, I will enter politics tomorrow," said the 67-year-old, asserting that he had no political aspiration. "If I enter, I will be very truthful and will not entertain people who are in this to make money. I won't work with such people," he said to a cheering audience. To the BJP's prompt invitation to join the party, he offered no comments. But he did not say no.
The BJP, which is seen to be eager to fill the political vacuum left after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the split in the ruling AIADMK.
In the past few days, there have been strong rumours about a merger between the rival factions of the AIADMK brokered by the ruling BJP at the centre.
Rajinikanth's meeting with a prominent BJP leader took on greater significance in that backdrop.