Rajini bids adieu to politics before plunge: A rundown

“Pardon me, members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) and the people who expected that I would be launching my political party soon.
Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth (Photo | PTI)
Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth (Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: Pouring cold water on his fans’ expectations, actor Rajinikanth on Tuesday pressed the ‘never’ option as he walked out of the political race ‘with a heavy heart’ even before making an entry. “Pardon me, members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) and the people who expected that I would be launching my political party soon. With a heavy heart, I announce this: Due to health reasons I am not able to enter politics by launching a political party. I only know the pain with which I make this announcement,” said Rajinikanth in a statement, a day after being discharged from the Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad.

The actor, who had kindled his fans’ hopes of launching a party when he made a “now or never” call earlier this month, after dilly-dallying for more than two decades, added, “I will continue to serve people without coming to electoral politics. I never hesitate to speak the truth. I appeal to all my fans to accept my decision. RMM will anyway continue to function.” This newspaper had reported on November 30 that the actor may not join politics due to health reasons. 

Referring to his recent statement that he would not go back on his promise made on the political entry, he said, “Having said so, my present decision will trigger criticisms against me. But I don’t want to make those who have faith in me as scapegoats just because people will criticise me for the decision.” In a detailed statement, he recalled four of the crew members of his current venture ‘Annatthe’ testing positive for Covid, despite safety measures put in place, and pointed out that he had tested negative for the infection.

He had participated in the shoot, involving about 120 people, despite doctors advising him against it, he said, adding that he later suffered fluctuations in his blood pressure. “Clinically, there should not be any fluctuation in my blood pressure as it would severely affect my alternate kidney and therefore I was under medical observation for three days,” said the actor.

Social media campaign won’t help achieve big political victory: Actor

Altlthough the RMM district secretaries had suggested that the actor could take the digital campaign route for the upcoming Assembly elections, Rajini told them, “Campaigning through media and social media will not help achieve a big political victory. Those who have political experience will not deny this. I need to meet thousands of people during the campaign and through public meetings.

Even now, I am taking immunosuppressant medicines. If I develop health complications during my campaign, it would severely affect those who accompany me in politics and they have to face many problems politically and mentally.” Perhaps, Rajinikanth is the only actor in the country to have quit politics even before making an entry into it. It may be recalled that several media reports have surfaced through the past three decades on the actor’s political launch.

It was in December 2017 that Rajini made an official statement in this regard, which was followed by the rechristening of his fans’ association to Rajini Makkal Mandram in January 2018. Several meetings have been held between the actor and RMM’s district secretaries ever since on his possible electoral debut. They had even prepared a list of poll booth committee members for around 65,000 booths across the State. In this situation, the actor’s current statement comes as a shock to those who worked for the launch of his party.

‘Health issues’
In a statement, Rajinikanth said If he developed health issues during his poll campaign, it would severely affect those who accompanied him in politics and they would have to face many problems politically and mentally

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