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Rajinikanth LIVE: Kamal Haasan Welcomes 'Brother', BJP Joins Cause with Superstar, AIADMK Wants to Know His Blueprint | December 31, 2017, 1:11 PM IST
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LIVE HIGHLIGHTS: Rajinikanth has finally announced his entry into politics, ending the months-long suspense which had kept his fans, observers, politicians and fellow film stars on tenterhooks for months. Speaking to his hundreds of fans who trooped into the Raghavendra marriage hall in Chennai, Rajinikanth stopped short of announcing a political party, saying only that he would float one at the “appropriate time”. That didn’t stop one fan from coming armed with a ‘party flag’ — a tricolour of red, white and blue with a sketch of Rajinikanth. First among those to congratulate Rajinikanth was his cinema, and perhaps, political rival Kamal Haasan. The BJP, too, welcomed him, saying it shares his ideal of honesty in politics. The AIADMK was more cautious, welcoming the actor in politics, but seeking to know his “blueprint” of politics. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy was quick to dismiss the hype around Rajinikanth’s political plunge, predicting he would ‘flop’. With the announcement, the Thalaivar of Tamil cinema has ended the months-long suspense and again stirred the political pot in Tamil Nadu, which has been going through a political vacuum since the death of AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa last year.

Stay tuned as Aditya Nair brings you live updates:
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Dec 31, 2017 1:11 pm (IST)

Sources close to Rajinikanth have told CNN-News18 that the superstar may announce the name of his political party and lay out his strategy on Pongal i.e. January 14.

Dec 31, 2017 12:17 pm (IST)

DMK working president MK Stalin has congratulated Rajinikanth for entering politics and said, "I congratulate and welcome superstar Rajinikanth's entry into politics." RK Nagar MLA TTV Dinakaran also welcomed the actor and said, "I am very happy to see him entering politics. I welcome the superstar."

Dec 31, 2017 11:44 am (IST)

Amitabh Bachchan wishes Rajinikanth on political entry. The two actors had starred together in Bollywood movie 'Hum'

Dec 31, 2017 11:04 am (IST)

"I thank Kamal Haasan for his wishes. When I talk about spiritual politics, I am referring to free and fair politics. Meanwhile, I will tour and meet people at a later date. Only time will tell how long it takes for me to float my party," says Rajinikanth at his Poes Garden residence.

Dec 31, 2017 10:49 am (IST)

Superstar Rajinikanth greets fans outside his residence after announcing his political entry:

Dec 31, 2017 10:46 am (IST)

After spending time with his fans at the Raghavendra Mandapam, superstar Rajinikanth is now leaving the venue.

Dec 31, 2017 10:40 am (IST)

The Raghavendra Mandapam was spilling over with Rajinikanth's fans as the superstar announced his political ambitions:

Dec 31, 2017 10:31 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Films and Politics: Two Obsessions of Tamil Nadu That Make for a Heady Cocktail

With superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan having announced their political foray, News18 analyses the close-knit history behind Tamil Nadu's two biggest obsessions - films and politics.

Dec 31, 2017 10:30 am (IST)

"Let Rajinikanth announce his political party, candidates and then I will expose him," says BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

Dec 31, 2017 10:29 am (IST)

"I congratulate my brother Rajini for his social consciousness and his political entry. Welcome welcome," tweets Kamal Haasan. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu state BJP President Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan has tweeted saying, "Welcome actor Rajinikanths political entry with motto of corruption free good governance which is the sole aim of BJP (sic)."

Dec 31, 2017 10:23 am (IST)

"I don't want to pre-empt Rajinikanth's move but we do greet him into politics," says AIADMK spokesperson Apsara Reddy.

Dec 31, 2017 10:09 am (IST)

While announcing his political foray, superstar Rajinikanth quoted a shloka from the Bhagwad Gita which stresses on the importance of doing one's duty and leaving the rest to the Lord, he said, "This is the compulsion of time." He also added that the policies of the party will be taken to the people, he said and added that truthfulness, hard work and growth will be the slogan of his party. "Do good, speak and only good will happen," will be the guiding slogan, he said. 

Dec 31, 2017 9:48 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Dialogues That Neta Rajinikanth Can Borrow From Abhineta Rajinikanth

Ending suspense, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday announced his entry into politics and said he will launch his own party.

Dec 31, 2017 9:40 am (IST)

"Rajinikanth is nothing but media management. BJP should wake up and realise that he is not with us. This is a joke, Tamil Nadu requires something serious. The mood in Tamil Nadu is to get rid of all the film stars in politics. Rajini is entering politics at the wrong time and place. He should be worried in fact that all his black money trail will come into the limelight. The people of Tamil Nadu will not fall into Rajini fan clubs' song and dance. Fans club cannot become a political outfit," says Subramanian Swamy.

Dec 31, 2017 9:31 am (IST)

"Rajinikanth is an uneducated man. What will he tell us? This is a just an age-old story of another Tamil actor joining politics. I will always oppose Rajnikanth. Tamil Nadu's image can only improve when we get rid of cinema stars. He has still not announced a political party," says BJP's Subramanian Swamy.

Dec 31, 2017 9:23 am (IST)

Fans of the superstar are ecstatic and are cheering with joy after Rajinikanth announces his political plunge. Talking to CNN-News18's Deepa Balakrishnan, who is at the Raghavendra Mandapam, they pledge undying allegiance to the leader who "can do no wrong".

Dec 31, 2017 9:18 am (IST)

Superstar Rajinikanth is now clicking photos with his fans at the Raghavendra Mandapam. He has called for his fans association to mobilise and come together to become upholders of democracy.

Dec 31, 2017 9:16 am (IST)

"In the coming assembly elections. At the opportune time, we will launch the political party and our force will stand in all 234 seats of Tamil Nadu," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:15 am (IST)

"I have not formed a party but at the appropriate time, I will launch a party and only then will we go to the people. Our mantras are truth, work and growth," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:13 am (IST)

"I have thousands of fans associations. This is more than what most political parties can boast of. I will bring all of them together. People from all walks of life, from villages to cities need to come together. This is my first task to you. Bring everyone together. Apart from this, we need to maintain discipline. Do not find faults with others, don't blame or bad mouth others," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:11 am (IST)

"Some people after joining politics start looting the people. They don't loot other countries or people, rather their own. I will make sure what is due to the people, will reach them. We need watchmen who will police and ask questions from those do wrong," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:09 am (IST)

"The politics in the state has become rotten. Democracy has become rotten. All other states are laughing at us after everything that has happened over the last one year. It's time for a change in politics. It's time for a truthful, transparent political party. That is my desire and no one can stand in my way. To start and contest an election with a new party is going to be difficult but the love and support of my Tamil people will prove my decision right," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:05 am (IST)

"Anyone who runs away from a fight is known as a coward. I have done my Karma to others, now its time to do my bit for the people. I will launch my own party and stand in all 234 Tamil Nadu constituencies in the next assembly elections," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:03 am (IST)

"My entry into politics is definite," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:02 am (IST)

"I am very scared of the media. The minute you leave your house they put a mike in your face and ask you questions. In that disorienting moment, if you say something, it turns into a national debate," says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 9:01 am (IST)

"My greetings to the Tamil makkal (people). The discipline that people have maintained so far is very important. I apologise to the neighbours for the noise created here. We have built this up a lot, haven't we?" says Rajinikanth at the Raghavendra Mandapam.

Dec 31, 2017 8:57 am (IST)

Superstar Rajinikanth has reached the Raghavendra Mandapam in Chennai. He is currently greeting his fans.

Dec 31, 2017 8:50 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | 'Only One MGR, One Amma': TTV Dinakaran Dismisses Rajinikanth 'Hype'

Dinakaran's statement came a day before Rajinikanth was to unveil his political plans, with political observers and sources close to the actor saying he will likely launch a new political party.

Dec 31, 2017 8:44 am (IST)

Chennai's RK Nagar MLA TTV Dinakaran seems unworried about Rajinikanth's entry into politics:

Dec 31, 2017 8:41 am (IST)

"I will make an announcement at Raghavendra Mandapam," says superstar Rajinikanth as he leaves his residence and makes his way to the marriage hall.

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Rajinikanth LIVE: Kamal Haasan Welcomes 'Brother', BJP Joins Cause with Superstar, AIADMK Wants to Know His Blueprint
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