CHENNAI: After giving much hope to his fans for about three years, actor Rajinikanth on Tuesday shattered their expectations by announcing that he is not entering politics due to health reasons.
"Pardon me, members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram and the people who expect 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. Only I know the pain with which I make this announcement," Rajinikanth said in a statement.
Referring to his recent statement that he would not go back on his promise to enter politics even by risking his life, Rajinikanth 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 scapegoats just because people will criticise my for my decision not to enter politics."
"I will continue to serve people without coming to electoral politics. I will never hesitate to speak the truth. I appeal to all my fans and people of Tamil Nadu to accept my decision. Rajini Makkal Mandram will continue to function," he said in his statement.
Rajinikanth said when he conveyed his decision to Thamizharuvi Manian, he said, "Your health is important to all of us. I thank him for this gesture. I also thank Arjunamurthy who has given up his position in a big political party to work with me."
Explaining what would happen if he launched his political party irrespective of his health condition, Rajinikanth said "Campaigning through media and social media will not help achieving 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."
Stating that for the past three years, members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram had been serving the people with discipline and honesty, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, Rajinikanth said, "Your work will not go waste. The punyam (good deeds) will safeguard you and your families forever. When I met you on November 30, you all told me that you would accept whatever be my decision and that my health is of supreme importance. I bow my head to your love and affection towards me."
Rajinikanth said despite the advice of the doctors he went ahead for the shooting of Annathe in Hyderabad and despite all precautionary measures, four persons had contracted COVID-19 and the shooting was suspended.
"On doctors' advice, I was under observation for three days and Annathe producer Kalanithi Maran suspended the shooting which led to loss of employment for many and a heavy loss of money. The sole reason for all these developments is my health. I treat this as a warning to me from the Almighty."