Actor Rajinikanth on Tuesday announced that he will not enter electoral politics citing health reasons. His statement came two days after he was discharged from a hospital in Hyderabad where he was admitted due to severe blood pressure fluctuations.
“I see this health complication [hospitalisation] as a warning given to me by God,” the actor said in a statement. “This decision of mine will disappoint my fans and people, but please forgive me.”
Earlier this month, Rajinikanth had said that he would announce his political party on December 31 and launch it in January, ending years of uncertainty about his political plans. Tamil Nadu will have Assembly elections next year. “With great support from people, in the upcoming Assembly elections, an honest, righteous, transparent, corruption-free, casteless, secular and spiritual politics will be formed in Tamil Nadu for sure,” the actor had said in a statement on December 3. “Miracles would happen.”
In his statement on Tuesday, Rajinikanth said that people who have joined him will have to face “difficulties mentally and financially” if he is affected by the coronavirus, according to The News Minute. “Just because people will question me after I gave my word on my entry into politics, I don’t prefer to sacrifice my allies and friends,” the 70-year-old actor said. “Forgive me because this decision will cause disappointment to those in Rajini Makkal Mandram and those who expected that I will enter politics.”
He pointed out that it would be difficult to go out for campaigning during the pandemic. “It is impossible to secure an uprising in politics and a big victory by solely depending on news media and social media for campaign after I start the political party,” Rajinikanth said. “Those who have experience in politics will not deny this fact. I will have to go to the people for campaigning and meet thousands and lakhs of people.”
The actor also said that Rajini Makkal Mandram, an outfit launched as a precursor to his political party, would continue to function as usual. He also thanked politicians Tamilaruvi Manian for motivating him and Arjunamoorthy for quitting his party and joining him.
Here is Rajinikanth’s full statement:
Heartfelt greetings to my beloved people of Tamil Nadu,
After announcing that my political party will start in January, I went to attend the shooting of Annaatthe in Hyderabad despite the advice of doctors. The Film Unit consisted around 120 people who daily underwent Covid tests, isolated themselves from each other, wore face masks and shields and much more. In spite of the various precautionary measures taken, 4 people from the crew came in contact with the virus. The shooting was immediately called off by the director and everyone present there were tested, including me.
My test results were negative, but my blood pressure was not stable and constantly fluctuating. As per my medical conditions, I should not have constant fluctuations in blood pressure, as it would severely affect my transplanted kidney. Therefore, under the supervision and advice of my doctors, I was hospitalised for three days.
Considering my health, our film’s producer Mr. Kalanithi Maran postponed the rest of the shoot. I consider this as a warning given to me by the Lord. Let’s see.
After I started the party, the political governance I am aiming for, cannot be granted merely through campaigns done in Press and Social Media platforms alone. No one with political experience will deny the fact. I will have to meet people, attend meetings and go on campaigns that would hamper my health.
When Corona exposure took place in a group of 120 people, I was hospitalised for three days and had to be under surveillance. Now, this coronavirus has transformed and a second wave is coming in a new form. Though Covid vaccines may be available, I have been taking immuno suppressants to maintain good health, due to which I may get unwell during the course of attending meetings and election campaigns. Then, people who trust me and travel along in this political journey would be both mentally and financially affected.
Even if my health is at stake, I will definitely go ahead with my political journey. I do not wish to disappoint the people who joined the party and held their support to it.
To the members of Rajini Makkal Mandram, fans and people who were expecting me to start a political party, I did not intend to disappoint you. Kindly forgive me.
For the last 3 years, the party and its members have be following my instructions sincerely. Even during the Corona lockdown, you went ahead to help people in need, following all safety precautions and consistently served the people. Your good deeds will definitely come back to you and your family.
When I met you for the last time on November 30th, you all had only one concern in your mind, “Your health is the most important thing for us and whatever decision you will take, we will stand by you”. These words are etched in my heart forever and I am forever indebted for the love and affection you have showered upon me. ‘Rajini Makkal Mandram’ will function as always.
My heartfelt thanks to Mr. Tamilaruvi Maniyan for being supportive and concerned about my health for the past 3 years and writing about the same in spite of facing criticism. I am grateful to the esteemed Mr. Arjuna Moorthy, who resigned his post from a reputed political party and joined forces with mine. Without contesting for the elections this year, I will do whatever it takes to help the people with their needs.
I have never hesitated to speak the truth. Your truth and transparency, in my well-being and your love and care for me, will make me live. My beloved fans and the people of Tamil Nadu made this decision of mine and I kindly request that you accept the same.
Long Live the people Tamil Nadu!
May Tamil Nadu Flourish!!
Rajinikanth’s health and political plunge
Rajinikanth was discharged from hospital on Sunday and was advised complete bed rest for a week with regular monitoring of his blood pressure levels. He was also asked to minimise physical activity, and avoid stress. The actor had been in Hyderabad for the shoot of his film Annaatthe, which was cancelled earlier this week after four members of the crew tested positive for the coronavirus. He tested negative on December 22, but he isolated himself as a precautionary measure.
Earlier in December, the actor had said that he was “ready to sacrifice” his life for the people of Tamil Nadu. “Only the people can bring about change,” Rajinikanth had said. “If I win, it is the people’s victory. If I am defeated, it will be their defeat. We need to change everything. If not now then never.”
On being asked about his health, the actor had then said that doctors had advised him against entering politics after undergoing a kidney transplant. But, he was willing to make sacrifices for the people of Tamil Nadu.
Rajinikanth had announced his entry into politics on New Year’s Eve in 2017. He started the Rajini Makkal Mandram in early 2018. However, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he refused to contest the polls or enter into an alliance with any political party.
In October, the actor had said that he would take a decision on entering politics at an “appropriate time”. His comments came after a letter containing details on the actor’s poor health was shared widely on social media. The letter, which was believed to be written by Rajinikanth himself, indicated that his plans to join politics were doubtful due to health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actor disowned the letter, but admitted that its content about his health was true.