Actor Rajinikanth, who finally appeared ready to launch his political party with a “now or never” announcement earlier this month, has now decided to opt for the latter course, citing health concerns. “With extreme sadness I say that I can’t enter politics. I alone know the pain I went through while announcing this decision,” he said in a statement today — two days after his discharge from hospital where he was admitted over the weekend with blood pressure fluctuations.
“Without entering electoral politics, I will serve the people. This decision of mine will disappoint my fans and people but please forgive me,” read the statement of the actor, who set up the Rajini Makkal Mandram two years ago with a promise to practice “spiritual politics”.
“My hospitalisation was a warning given by God. My campaign will impact health amid the pandemic,” he added, explaining the reason for his decision.
The 70-year-old’s debut in politics has been anticipated by fans for nearly 25 years but despite weighing in on various subjects, he had not taken the plunge.
In October, he said he was advised by doctors to stay away from the heat and dust of a campaign. His immune system has been weak after a renal transplant, which made him more susceptible to the coronavirus, he said after a leaked letter — supposedly written by him — triggered speculation that he was delaying his political debut for health reasons.
The actor said the letter was not his, but the information was correct.
On December 3, Rajinikanth announced that he has decided to launch his party and contest the Tamil Nadu election. “It is now or never,” he had said.