In a U-turn, superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday announced he will not take the political plunge and launch a party as announced earlier. The actor-turned-politician had said that he would give details of the party name on December 31 but before that he was admitted at Hyderabad hospital with high blood pressure. Citing his health issues and fear of Covid-19 in a three-page letter, Rajinikanth expressed fears over those accompanying him in his possible political journey facing “mental and economic” problems in the due course.
“I decided not to enter politics as it is not possible to meet people during an election campaign in times of Covid-19. During ‘Annathe’ shooting, nearly 120 people were tested daily and out of these four tested positive. Due to this, film producer Kalanidhi Maran decided to postpone the shooting,” wrote the top actor.
The cases surfaced despite people on shoot wearing masks and following social distancing norms, he said, adding that he wonders would happen if he were to meet lakhs of people in one campaign.
“Though some may criticise my decision of not entering politics, I am not ready to take any risk. I know how bad I felt when I decided to take the decision,” said Rajinikanth.
He said the present ‘Rajini Makkal Mandram’ will continue to work with people and he requested pardon from the members of the Mandram, public as well as his fans.
“For the past three years, Rajini Makkal Mandram officer-bearers worked with people in a controlled manner. I thank them all. When I met the office-bearers on November 30, they all told me that they will go by my decision. I will not forgot this in my lifetime,” said the actor.
Rajinikanth’s elder brother backed the Tamil superstar’s move. The 77-year-old R Sathyanarayana Rao said it’s his brother’s wish and one can’t force him to change his mind.
When pointed to “lot of expectations” that people had on Rajinikanth’s planned political debut, Rao said: “We too believed that (he would launch the party)”. “He (Rajinikanth) has cited health reasons. So, we can’t force him. It’s his wish (not to launch party). Whatever decision he has taken, that’s definitely right”, Rao was quoted as saying by PTI.
Here is Rajinikanth’s full statement:
To my beloved fans, I went Hyderabad for ‘Annathe’ shooting. We were shooting with the crew consisting of about 120 members. Although we were very careful, four people in the crew contracted coronavirus. Everyone in the crew got tested for the infection, but I had high fluctuations in blood pressure. So, I was under doctors’ supervision and was being monitored for three days consecutively.
Due to this, producer Kalanidhi Maran halted the shoot and many lost their employment. I’m taking it as Almighty’s warning. If I launch the political party, and campaign through social media, I can’t be victorious in this election. I can’t win elections if I don’t meet people directly and the second wave of coronavirus is another big threat. As I’m taking Immuno suppressants, even if vaccines are available, there will be no assured hope. I’m not ready to make people, who trust me, go through financial loss and mental trauma. I’m extremely pained to announce that I’m not starting a political party, it will be a big disappointment to fans and cadres. Please forgive me for the decision.
Makkal Mandram members were keeping their utmost obedience and good conduct by obeying my words. You have served people. Those good fortunes by your service to humanity will not go in vain. Makkal Mandram cadres have deep trust in me and told me that they are ready to agree to any of my decisions, no matter what it is. I bow my head before their love.
Whatever criticism came, he endured it. For that, I’m thanking Thamiaruvi Manian Ayya for his support. I’m thanking Arjuna Moorthy for his support, as he left his position in a big party and joined me, just for the sake of my request. I will still serve people without entering electoral politics. Once again I’m thanking everyone, who love me unconditionally.
Long live Tamil People, ‘Jai Hind’.
(With inputs from Gunavathy in Chennai)