Marking his entry into Tamil Nadu state politics, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth Sunday said his party would contest from all the 232 assembly seats in the state. The actor said he was entering the arena as politics and governance in Tamil Nandu had turned so bad that the state has become a laughing stock. He said it was time to “change the government, change the system”.
Rajinikanth also said he would take a call on whether to contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the time comes. Acknowledging that it would be no easy task to set up a party and contest in election, Rajinikanth said it had to be done. “I did not have political ambitions when I was 45, so will I have it when I’m 68? I am not doing this for any post. I do not come for money or fame, as I have enough of it. But the politics has become so bad that rest of the world is laughing at us,” Rajinikanth said at a fans meet-and-greet in Chennai.
“I don’t want volunteers, I want guardians. I need guardians who don’t ask the help of any politician for any personal need. I don’t want party cadres. I want guardians who can fight for people’s rights. And I’m just a people’s representative, who will oversee this army of guardians. I need guardians who can question the government unconditionally,” the actor added while breaking the suspense over his plans.
Highlights from Rajinikanth’s speech:
12.23 pm: Quoting a shloka from Bhagawad Gita, which stresses the importance of doing one’s duty and leaving the result to the Lord, Rajinikanth said, “Engage in war, if you win you will rule the nation, if you die you will go to heaven. If you go without waging war, they will call you a coward.”
11.57 am: Catch all the action from Rajinikanth’s fan meet-and-greet event in pictures. See more
11.44 am: Amitabh Bachchan also congratulated the actor on his political move. Taking to Twitter, he said, “T 2758 – My dear friend , my colleague and a humble considerate human, RAJNIKANTH, announces his decision to enter politics .. my best wishes to him for his success !!” Read more
11.06 am: As Rajinikanth makes his political debut, here is a look at his political journey.
10.42 am: Rajinikanth greets his fans making the announcement.
— ANI (@ANI) December 31, 2017
10.39 am: Rajinikanth will support BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, says State BJP President, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan.
10.29 am: Tamil actor Kamal Haasan has also extended wishes to Rajinikanth on his political innings. “I congratulate my brother Rajini for his social consciousness and his political entry. Welcome welcome,” he said.
10.27 am: Rajinikanth in his fans meet added that he will resign from his party in case he fails to live up to his promises. “We will start a party when the elections come. We’ll tell what we are about to do to the people and also tell that we will resign if we haven’t accomplished our promises within three years. I want our welfare societies to be in every street. That’s the first task. Let’s us not talk politics until then.”
10.25 am: Launching a fresh attack against the Tamil actor, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said, “Let him announce political party name and candidates and then I will expose him.”
— ANI (@ANI) December 31, 2017
9.49 am: “I don’t fear entering politics, but I fear the media. I am still a child in this context. I need to be more active and alert on the media. Cho sir had already warned me about the same. Today, I miss him a lot; he would have given me more strength for this new beginning,” the actor said while remembering late actor, humorist and political analyst, Cho Ramaswamy, on the occasion.
9.38 am: Rajinikanth’s fans who are enthralled by his political plans are celebrating outside the hall in Chennai. While some are bursting crackers, others are swaying to the beats of music. One of them has also designed a party flag in red and blue colour with Rajinikanth’s sketch at the centre.
9.30 am: “Do good, speak and only good will happen,” will be the guiding slogan of the party, ‘Thalaivar’ added.
9.28 am: Taking a jibe at the actor’s political entry, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy told ANI: “He only announced he is entering politics, had no details or documents, he is illiterate. Its only media hype, people of Tamil Nadu are intelligent.”
9.22 am: Fans have started celebrating outside the venue.
— ANI (@ANI) December 31, 2017
9.20 am: State BJP president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan welcomed the Tamil superstar in politics.
Welcome actor Rajinikanths political entry with motto of corruption free good governance which is the sole aim of BJP
— Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan (@DrTamilisaiBJP) December 31, 2017
9.19 am: “I don’t want volunteers, I want guardians. I need guardians who don’t ask the help of any politician for any personal need. I don’t want party cadres. I want guardians who can fight for people’s rights. And I’m just a people’s representative, who will oversee this army of guardians. I need guardians who can question the government unconditionally.”
9.16 am: “In the name of democracy politicians are robbing us of our own money on our own land. We need to bring a change from the base. Truth, work and growth will be the three mantras of our party.”
9.14 am: “It’s time for political change. Time to change the system. We have to create a spiritual politics with no caste and religion barriers,” the actor said.
9.08 am: “Democracy is in bad shape right now, all other states have been making fun of us(Tamil Nadu), I will feel guilty if I don’t take this decision now.”
9.06 am: “The last year’s events in the state politics have shamed people of Tamil Nadu. The government has to be changed, the system has to be changed. I know this is not going to be easy. I can do this only the trust and support of the people.”
9.05 am: “I will be floating my own party and contest elections in all seats in TN. I did not have political ambitions when I was 45, so will I have it when I’m 68? I am not doing this for any post. But the politics has become so bad that rest of the world is laughing at us.”
9.02 am: Rajinikanth breaks the suspense over his political entry. “My entry into politics is definite. It is the need of the times,” he says.
8.58 am: The superstar thanked his fans for being disciplined during the events in the last six days. Says this is the duscipline he needs from them.
8.54 am: Rajinikanth has arrived at the venue.
8.50 am: Rajinikanth’s brother-in-law Ravi Raghavendra has arrived at the venue.
8.45 am: The celebrations have already begun at the venue. Excited fans have started bursting firecrackers ahead of the actor’s arrival.
8.40 am: The Tamil actor has left for the fans meet venue. “I will make the announcement after reaching Sri Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam,” he said, news agency ANI reported.
8.35 am: The fans who are excited over the actor’s political plans, have already started assembling at Raghavendra marriage hall in Chennai. Anticipating an announcement, many of them have brought along placards, posters and banners with Rajini’s photos.
8.30 am: Meanwhile, check out the top pictures of the matinee idol.
8.20 am: Along with Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan has also expressed his desire to join politics. While Kamal has made his intentions about contesting elections clear, Rajinikanth continues to keep his fans and the political world guessing.
8.07 am: Rajinikanth, who enjoys almost demigod status among his followers has been addressing the fans since last five days.
— Superstar Fans Club (@Rajini_RFC) December 31, 2017
8.00 am: Fans have started teeming in at the meet.
7.50 am: Welcome to the live blog where we will be tracking all the updates over the Thalaivar’s political entry.