Chennai: Ending decades of suspense, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday finally declared that he would float a political party of his own and contest all 234 constituencies in the next Assembly elections to “redeem” the image of Tamil Nadu which had been “sullied” in the past one year.
The actor, a Maharashtrian raised in Bengaluru and made Tamil Nadu his home after a flourishing film career that has lasted for 42 years to be precise, spoke with clarity before his fans on Sunday morning where he outlined his action plan – his new political party will not contest local body polls due to paucity of time and will concentrate more on the next assembly polls, due in 2021. As far as Lok Sabha polls are concerned, decision will be taken at the “right time”, he said.
“My plunge into politics is certain and I am being compelled by time to take a plunge. I will launch my own political party in the next assembly elections and contest all 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu…If I don’t take the political call now, the guilt of not doing good to the people who gave me life would haunt me till my death,” Rajinikanth declared, sending his fans into a rapturous frenzy.
His announcement ended 21 years of “will he, won’t he” suspense that was carefully choreographed by the actor and his team ever since he endorsed the DMK-TMC alliance in 1996 and spoke against the then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Sounding quite serious about his political entry, Rajinikanth said “we will resign within three years if we cannot fulfill our promises.”
As if he borrowed a few phrases from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the superstar said he needs protectors (chowkidars or watchmen) to guard the state from corrupt elements and accused the political parties of plundering their own people.
He also coined a new term on what his politics would be like – “spiritual politics” that transcends all religion and caste – but political circles quickly interpreted it as a clear indication that he was leaning towards the BJP....