Ahead of TN polls, Rajini opts out of political foray

Rajinikanth misses date with politics, decides not to launch political party

He says he will continue working for the people of Tamil Nadu without launching a party

Rajinikanth. Credit: PTI

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday announced that he would not launch a new political party to contest the 2021 Assembly elections, citing his poor health and Covid-19 as reasons for going back on the promise he made on the last day of 2017.  

In a three-page statement posted on his verified Twitter page, Rajinikanth apologised to his fans, supporters and people who stood by him over the past three years for his decision. He also said he would continue working for the people of Tamil Nadu without launching a political party.

“I regret to announce that I am not able to take the political plunge by launching a political party. Only I know the pain that I go through while announcing this. This decision would come as a disappointment to my fans, and people. I apologise to everyone,” Rajinikanth said.

Rajinikanth's announcement comes two days before he was scheduled to announce the date of launch of his political party on December 31. The actor had on December 3 announced that he will launch a party in January, 2021 and contest the assembly elections after dithering several times even after a definite announcement in this regard on December 31, 2017.

The development two days after he was discharged from Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad where he was admitted on December 25 due to “severe fluctuations” in blood pressure. The actor spent three days at the hospital though he tested negative for the novel coronavirus after four crew members of Annatthe, his latest film, tested positive for Covid-19.

Read | Avoid stress, any activity that increases risk of contracting Covid-19: Doctors to Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth cited his vulnerability to contracting Covid-19 owing to the renal transplant he underwent in 2016 and the second wave of coronavirus as reasons for going back on his promise. Contending that his hospitalisation was “a warning from the God”, Rajinikanth said he cannot bring about the change he wanted to among the people by campaigning through social media.

“I may have to meet lakhs of people during the campaign and I had to be under the observation of doctors for three days after being among 120 people. The coronavirus is now taking a new shape and there is chance of a second wave,” he said.

Rajinikanth said his fans and supporters may have to face a slew of consequences, including psychological and financial, if he falls ill during the campaign for the 2021 elections. “I do not want to make a scapegoat of the people who have believed in me by entering to politics andnot caring about my health just because some people will criticise me for my decision,” he added.