After several delays and half-starts, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth appeared to have firmed up plans for a political career by announcing Thursday the launch of his own party in January 2021 — the year when Assembly elections will be held in Tamil Nadu.
In a brief statement on Twitter, Rajinikanth said his party would be a “non-corrupt, honest, transparent and secular party with a spiritual politics”, which will “definitely win the next elections”. The date of the launch will be announced on December 31, he said.
Speaking to reporters outside his residence, Rajinikanth fuelled speculation about his party’s leanings by introducing Ra Arjunamurthy, former president of the BJP state unit’s intellectual wing, as the chief coordinator of his fans’ association. Arjunamurthy was relieved of his post in the BJP this week.
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) December 3, 2020
Rajinikanth also introduced his political advisor Tamilaruvi Maniyan, who is a familiar face in state politics, as the leader who will supervise efforts to launch the party.
The actor, who will turn 71 on December 12, said his decision to launch a party is aimed at bringing change in Tamil Nadu. He said that if he succeeds, “it will be the success of the people”. “If I get defeated also, it will be their defeat. Let us change everything. If not now, it will never be… This is the time for changing the destiny of Tamil Nadu. The regime should change,” he said.
Following a 46-year film career, Rajinikanth said he would begin his political journey after completing the shooting for his latest film ‘Annathe’. Referring to his earlier announcement of a party launch in December 2020, he said that this time, “I will not go back on my word”.
In March 2020, Rajinikanth had said that he would not be a Chief Minister candidate or contest the polls. There is no word yet on whether his candidates would contest in all seats across the state or be part of an alliance.
But sources close to the actor said he would actively take part in election campaigns and rallies while staying secure in a strict bio-bubble similar to the one used by cricketers in the IPL.