Actor and politician Rajinikanth has stated that he would not be contesting in the state bye-polls due in Tamil Nadu. Rajinikanth made his position known to the media at the Chennai airport on Sunday. He was returning from Mumbai after attending the wedding of Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta, along with his daughter Soundarya and son-in-law Vishagan Vannangamudi.
In response to a question on whether he would contest the bye-elections in the state, if held, Rajinikanth outright said, "No." When asked whom he supported in the upcoming Indian General Elections, he declined to answer and said, "Sorry, I would not like to say anything now."
In February, the superstar had urged people to vote for a party that would permanently solve water problems. "Tamil Nadu's most important problem is water scarcity. Hence, in your opinion, whoever you think is capable of forming a stable and strong government in the centre and formulate plans and implement them to permanently end the water problem, please vote for them without fail," he had said.
In reference to this, on Sunday, he was asked whether he meant national parties or state parties, to which he responded, "Both." The actor has, in the past, backed river interlinking across the country.
Rajinikanth had also put to rest all speculations earlier in February when he declared that he would neither contest the elections nor support anyone in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He had stated that the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections was his goal.
Rajinikanth, who launched his political outfit, the Rajini Makkal Mandram in December 2017, is yet to launch a full-fledged political party. His latest statements come even as political parties have been hoping for the actor's support.
With a large fanbase, the actor's political statements have always been closely watched. In 1996, he had said, â€śEven God canâ€™t save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa returns to power." It is believed that this helped the DMK-TMC combine sweep the elections.