Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth. (File Photo)Ending years of speculation, actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Thursday finally announced that he would launch his political party in January 2021, months ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Rajini, whose political entry has been speculated since 1996 and delayed by at least two decades, said he would announce the details of his party on December 31, 2020. The state elections are slated for the summer.
In a brief statement released on Twitter, Rajinikanth said a “non-corrupt, honest, transparent and secular party with a spiritual politics” would “definitely win the next elections”. The definition for spiritual politics, which he clarified earlier, is “honest and corruption-free”.
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Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) December 3, 2020
However, the actor did not clarify whether he would contest the 2021 state elections.
In March 2020, Rajinikanth said he would neither be the chief ministerial candidate nor would he contest in polls — a decision, if it hasn’t changed, which would possibly dampen his political entry as a majority of his fans have been waiting to see him as the CM of Tamil Nadu.
Amid reports that he may not be launching the party over health concerns, Rajinikanth had met his fans on Monday in Chennai and promised that he would take a decision soon.
Sources in his camp, privy to the ongoing discussions, said Rajinikanth’s health, which remains a concern, would be handled with innovative protocols such as the ‘bio-bubble’ used in the Indian Premier League 2020. This would limit his interaction with people and ensure his safety during rallies, road trips and hotel stays. He would likely meet only his close aides and a few top leaders of the party, who will be regularly tested and screened for Covid-19.
Addressing a press conference shortly after his Twitter announcement, Rajinikanth said he decided to enter politics to bring about change in Tamil Nadu. “I am just an instrument. Only the people can bring about change. If I win, it is the people’s victory. If I am defeated, it will be their defeat. We need to change everything. If not now, then never,” he said.
“This is the time for changing the destiny of Tamil Nadu. There is a lot of work to be done to launch a political party, we have already begun the process. I will put my best effort to succeed in this process,” he added.
On his health, Rajinikanth said, “You know I underwent a kidney transplant. The doctors advised me against entering politics. But. for the people of TN, whose prayers only helped me recover when I was undergoing treatment in Singapore, I am ready to even sacrifice my life.”
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