Rajinikanth has announced that he will launch a political party in January. He also promised that his party would establish a “corruption-free” government that would be free of religious and caste discrimination. The date of the launch will be announced on December 31, 2020, he said.
Rajinikanth’s decision comes days after discussions with the district secretaries of his three-year-old political launchpad, the Rajini Makkal Mandram, about whether he should join politics.
The actor and politician issued the statement on social media on Thursday. In his statement, Rajinikanth said, “In the upcoming Assembly elections, we will win with immense support from the people and will definitely establish a honest, sincere, transparent, corruption-free, caste and religious bias-free, spiritual politics. Miracles will happen.”
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) December 3, 2020
Speaking to the media assembled outside his residence in Poes Garden, Chennai shortly after, Rajinikanth said that he had planned to go across Tamil Nadu to campaign. However, he said he could not due to the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with his health condition. Rajinikanth recently underwent a kidney transplant surgery.
He said, “The doctors told me that it is medically dangerous to campaign and meet the general public. However, when I was admitted in Singapore, I was able to recover due to the prayers of the Tamil people. I will be most happy even if I have to sacrifice my life for them. I will never back down on my words.” Rajinikanth said that change in Tamil Nadu politics was the need of the hour.
Rajinikanth also said that his political work would not hinder the shooting for his upcoming film Annaatthe as it was his “duty to complete it”. He said 40 percent of the film still remained to be shot.
Earlier on Monday, Rajinikanth had met with senior officials of the Rajini Makkal Mandram at the Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam. After the meeting, he had told the press he would soon announce his decision.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, a Rajini Makkal Mandram member from Thoothukudi said, “What he says is final. We will abide by that. We discussed whether he should start a political party considering his health. Whatever decision he takes, we will abide by that.”
On December 31, 2017, Rajinikanth had initially declared that he would join politics. However, even as he has made socio-political comments from time to time, the actor had taken no concrete steps to establish himself in politics. He also did not participate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying that his true goal was the 2021 State Assembly Elections.
In October this year, a letter rumoured to have been penned by the actor began circulating on social media. The letter stated that he was reconsidering his decision to join politics due to bad health. Following that, on October 29, Rajinikanth issued a statement to clarify that though the purported note was not his, the contents of it were true. He also announced that he would declare his position at an appropriate time.
Subsequently in November, Rajinikanth’s meeting with political commentator and editor of Thughlak, S Gurumurthy, triggered fresh speculations. According to reports, Gurumurthy urged Rajinikanth to rethink his decision to stay out of politics.
In response, the actor’s fans had taken to putting up posters and sending him postcards that urged him not to quit. One such poster, reported by NDTV, was made by the ‘Vellore Citizens Wishing for a Change’, and asked the actor to “take the path of a lion to hunt down blood sucking pack of wolves and convocation of eagles”.