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Rajinikanth opts out of political entry citing health, COVID

“The reason for all this is my health condition.”

Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday announced that he will not be starting a political party and entering the electoral fray as his health condition does not permit him to engage in full-scale political activity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The actor was recently admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad due to severe fluctuations in his blood pressure and was advised bed rest for a week.

Mr. Rajinikanth had on December 3 said that he would on December 31 announce the date for the launch of his proposed political party and float it in January next.

However, on Tuesday, he tweeted a letter opting out of politics and apologised to his fans and Rajini Makkal Mandram members for disappointing them with his decision.

Mr. Rajinikanth said the stoppage of the shooting of his film Annaththe due to COVID-19 has led to losses of several crores of rupees for the producer Sun Pictures and job losses for several others.

“The reason for all this is my health condition,” the superstar admitted candidly.

“If I enter politics, I will have to meet thousands, even lakhs of people while campaigning. Even within a tight setup where only 120 people were at the shooting spot, people were affected by COVID-19 and I had to spend three days in the hospital. Even if a vaccine comes, I am on Immuno Suppresant medicines and if some health issues arise for me while campaigning, it would put those who are with me on this political journey in a very tight spot and lead to untold miseries for them,” Mr. Rajinikanth said.

He said he was not willing to make scapegoats of people, who were willing to be a part of his political journey just because he might be subject to criticism that he had made a promise of entering politics and has now backed out.

“I apologise to everyone who expected me to enter politics, my fans and RMM members. Only I know the amount of pain I am undergoing for taking this decision,” the actor said.

Mr. Rajinikanth also praised his RMM members for undertaking public service in the past three years with diligence and honesty and assured them they will get the spiritual benefits of such service. He said RMM will continue to function as usual.

He also thanked Tamilaruvi Manian for being a part of his journey till date and Ra. Arjunamoorthy who joined him from the BJP.

The actor said he will do whatever public service he can without entering politics. “I have never shied away from speaking the truth,” he added.

His announcement comes three years after he announced that he will enter politics and bring in ‘spiritual politics’ to the State.

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