'I told Rajini not to enter politics', says EX-VP Venkaiah Naidu
Earlier, Rajinikanth visited the photo exhibition being held at Raja Annamalai Mandram at George Town near Madras High Court to celebrate the 70th birthday of Chief Minister MK Stalin.
CHENNAI: Former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday revealed that besides the Covid-19 epidemic, he also had played a role in actor Rajinikanth's decision not to enter politics two years ago.
Naidu said this while responding to the remarks of Rajinikanth who spoke earlier at the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the Sapiens Health Foundation here.
"When I came to know through my friend S Gurumurthy that Rajinikanth wants to enter politics, I requested him to advise the actor not to enter since there are better ways to serve the people. I also told him politics is not good for Rajinikanth and that I was giving this advice with all my experience because I like and admire Rajinikanth. But Gurumurthy asked me to advise Rajinikanth personally. Then I called up Rajinikanth and explained my point. Finally, he decided not to get into politics,” Naidu explained.
Earlier, Rajinikanth said he chose not to enter politics only due to health reasons and not out of fear. Giving a detailed account of why he underwent a kidney transplant abroad, Rajinikanth said, “When I recovered after a kidney transplant, I promised that I would enter politics. I was on an immunosuppressant then. Unfortunately, the second wave of Covid-19 was spreading to many foreign countries at that time, and was unable to go back on my promise of entering politics.”
Rajinikanth said when he consulted Dr Rajan Ravichandran, he said "I can't interfere in your decision to enter politics. But you should avoid campaigning and meeting the public. If at all, you need to go for the campaign, you have to keep a distance of 10 feet from the public and you should not remove your face mask during the campaign.” The actor explained that practically adhering to the doctor’s advice would be difficult since when he enters the van, the public would demand the face mask to be removed.
"There is no way I can keep the people 10 feet away. I was wondering how to convey this. If I say, there will be allegations that I am afraid of entering politics. It might take a toll on my reputation. Then Dr Rajan Ravichandran said I need not worry, and if needed, he is ready to explain to the media and to my fans about my health condition. Only after this, I said I am not entering politics,” Rajinikanth added.
Earlier, Rajinikanth visited the photo exhibition being organised in Raja Annamalai Mandram at George Town near Madras High Court to celebrate the 70th birthday of Chief Minister MK Stalin. He said Stalin's life journey and political journey are intertwined and his becoming the chief minister is a recognition of his untiring work.