Today's Paper

Rajinikanth takes the plunge finally

Enigma of arrival:Actor Rajinikanth after announcing his entry into politics at the RaghavendraKalyana Mandapam in Chennai on Sunday.R. Ragu

Enigma of arrival:Actor Rajinikanth after announcing his entry into politics at the RaghavendraKalyana Mandapam in Chennai on Sunday.R. Ragu   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Actor to launch political party a few months before pollsWill put up candidates in all 234 constituencies in Tamil NaduSays politics in the Statehas deteriorated very badly

Ending two decades of speculation and uncertainty, Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday emphatically announced his arrival in politics and declared that he will launch a political party in time to contest in all 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu in the next Assembly elections. His politics, he said, will be beyond caste and religion but “spiritual.” He will keep off the election to local bodies as the time is short and take a decision about the 2019 Lok Sabha polls later. The term of the current Assembly in Tamil Nadu will end in 2021.

Making the announcement in front of his fans at his Raghavendra Kalyanamandapam here, he said, “I will definitely come to politics. The time has come. In the upcoming State Assembly elections, I will contest in 234 constituencies. I will start a political party a few months before elections and tell people about our ideology and policies and tell people what we will do and what we won’t. If we can’t do it, we will resign in three years,” said Mr. Rajinikanth.

Explaining the reasons behind his decision to join politics, he said, “Politics in the State has deteriorated very badly. Democracy has undergone severe decay. In the last year, the political events that unfolded in Tamil Nadu have made the people [of Tamil Nadu] hang their heads in shame. People in all States are laughing at us. If I don’t do anything in a democratic way to change this situation, the feeling of guilt will affect me till my death.” His foray into politics was the compulsion of time, he asserted.

The actor, recited a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, in which he quoted Lord Krishna’s advice to Arjuna to do his work and not worry about the rest, and said the “time has come” to enter politics.

“There is a need for a political change. The system needs to change. We need a politics that is truthful, straightforward and clean. We need a kind of politics that is devoid of influences of caste and religion. We need ‘spiritual’ politics. That is my goal and wish,” he said.

The actor said while in the olden days kings would loot other empires and palaces, now parties are looting in the name of democracy. “In the name of democracy, political parties that come to power are looting people in different ways, different modes and different methods. Kings would loot other empires, but these people loot their own people. This needs to change,” he said.

Mr. Rajinikanth claimed he doesn’t need ‘party workers’ but those who selflessly ‘guard’ the party. “Party workers are everything to a party. But, I need guards who will raise questions about wrongdoings in the party. I need ‘guards’ who will not go and ask favours from MLA, MP or Minister. I am just a man who will monitor these guards. We need to create this work-force first,” he said.

The first task would be to mobilise and co-ordinate registered and unregistered Rajinikanth fan clubs in Tamil Nadu. “There are thousands of fan clubs registered in villages and towns. There are many more unregistered fan clubs. We need to mobilise and bring these fan clubs together. We must ensure that fan clubs are there in every street. This is not cinema, this is politics. Try to bring women, youngsters, graduates and others into our fold. We must prepare ourselves before the election,” he said.

Underlining that he is not entering politics for ‘name, fame, money or position of power’, Mr. Rajinikanth said, “You have given me things that I couldn’t even dream of. If I was after a position of power, I could have achieved it in 1996. I didn’t want it in 1996. Why will I want it now? It is not about a position of power.”

Recommended for you