Is Rajinikanth quitting politics?

Superstar Rajinikanth’s much-awaited political plunge has hit the headlines yet again and reportedly, he won’t be launching his party in the near future.

After a Tamil website published the statement – a draft that is believed to have been circulated amongst the actor’s inner circle, Tamil Nadu’s political circles were abuzz that Rajinikanth’s political entry might not happen ahead of the May 2021 Assembly elections.

What has deterred the 70-year-old actor is his frail health – after he reportedly underwent a kidney transplant at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester USA in 2016. His doctors have cautioned that even a corona vaccine may not guarantee him the required immunity considering he was already on immunosuppressant.

Neither Rajini nor persons close to him have confirmed the authenticity of the note. “No official statement issued by sir,” was his public relations officer Riaz K Ahmed’s response. Nonetheless, fans and members of his Rajini Makkal Mandram are beginning to make their peace with the possibility.

As per the draft statement, Rajinikanth had originally planned to tour the state between May and July before launching his party on Oct 2 in Madurai.

“Since that was not possible the alternative now would be to carry out my political campaign only through television, internet, and social media. But I doubt if there would be a popular uprising and support among the public for such an approach. And if I choose to launch the party the traditional way – through public meetings – and my health got affected midway it could disrupt all the plans. Also, my main concern is about the health of the people who would be attending such rallies,” he says in the reported draft.

Although Rajini has dropped hints of his political aspirations from the 1990s, he officially announced his intentions on December 31, 2017. At a function, he said, “I will enter politics and launch a party to serve the people of Tamil Nadu as the (political) system in Tamil Nadu has been ruined.”