Rajinikanth announces he is not entering electoral politics

The news comes after he was discharged from Apollo Hospital after showing blood pressure fluctuations.
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Two days after he was discharged after being hospitalised for severe blood pressure fluctuations, superstar Rajinikanth has said he will not be joining politics. “I see this health complication (hospitalisation) as a warning given to me by God,” the actor said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Rajinikanth clearly said that his inability to venture out and campaign during the pandemic is behind this decision. “It is impossible to secure an uprising in politics and a big victory by solely depending on news media and social media for campaign after I start the political party. Those who have experience in politics will not deny this fact. I will have to go to the people for campaigning and meet thousands and lakhs of people. Even in a group of 120 people (crew of Annatthe), there was a coronavirus infection and I had to stay under doctors’ watch for three days.

Now this coronavirus has changed its form and is spreading as a variant strain. Even if the vaccine comes, if something happens to my health since I take immunosuppressants, then people who have trusted me and joined me will have to face several difficulties mentally and financially. Just because people will question me after I gave my word on my entry into politics, I don’t prefer to sacrifice my allies and friends. Forgive me because this decision will cause disappointment to those in Rajini Makkal Mandram and those who expected that I will enter politics,” Rajinikanth said in a three-page statement he issued on Tuesday. 

He added that Rajini Makkal Mandram will continue to function as usual and that he bows down to the love and affection of his fans.

Rajinikanth thanked Tamilaruvi Manian for motivating him and urging him to take care of his health despite criticisms. He also expressed his gratitude to Arjunamoorthy for quitting his role from a national party and agreeing to join his party.

“Without entering electoral politics, I'll try my best to do service for the people,” he said. “I have never hesitated to speak the truth. Hence I request my fans, Tamil people to accept my decision,” he said.

Rajinikanth had earlier entrusted party work with Tamilaruvi, who will oversee the affairs of the party, and Arjunamoorthy, who was appointed chief coordinator. Tamilaruvi is a former Congressman and the Gandhi Makkal Iyakkam leader while Arjunamoorthy was the head of the intellectual cell of the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit. 

The actor's announcement comes after he was hospitalised on Christmas Day in Hyderabad after suffering from severe hypertension and exhaustion. He was discharged two days later on December 27 with his doctors advising him to take complete bed rest for a week, maintain limited physical activity, avoid stress and abstain from undertaking activities that would put him at risk of contracting COVID-19. The advisory was based on the superstar’s health history of being a post-transplant patient, having hypertension and considering his age.

It also comes two days before he was scheduled to announce the date of his party launch. Rajini had promised his fans that he would make an announcement - considered a trailer before the launch - on December 31. Rajini’s party has been in the making for three years, ever since he announced his political entry back on New Year’s Eve in 2017. However, while his fan clubs were reorganised as the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), considered the precursor to the party, there was no clarity on the actual party or its launch. Three years after keeping his fans and foes guessing, Rajini on December 3 tweeted that his yet-to-be launched party would participate in the Assembly Elections. “With great support from people, in the upcoming Assembly elections, an honest, righteous, transparent, corruption-free, casteless, secular and spiritual politics will be formed in Tamil Nadu for sure. Wonder… Miracle… will happen!!!” Rajinikanth tweeted.

At a press conference outside his Poes Garden residence in Chennai the same day, he clarified why it had taken him time to make the announcement. “I had said that there needs to be an uprising among people and only after that there can be politics. I wanted to tour the whole of Tamil Nadu but corona (virus) put a stop to it. Due to my health situation, doctors also advised me against touring Tamil Nadu and talking to people in person,” he said at the press conference.

Rajinikanth had earlier expressed disinterest in contesting the polls. He had in March 2020 stated that he had no desire to be Chief Minister. "I have never wanted to be Chief Minister. In fact, I can't even think of sitting in the Assembly and going through those proceedings! I will be the party chief, and the CM will be someone who is educated, who is farsighted. He will be a person who can govern. And the party chief will be like an opposition leader -- we will be the first to question if anything wrong happens. We will not interfere with the governance -- there will not be two parallel power centres," he had said.

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