Actor Rajinikanth said Sunday he will float a new party and contest all assembly seats in Tamil Nadu in the next elections, putting an end to speculations among fans in the state that has seen cine stars dominating the world of politics.
Addressing a packed house at Sri Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai, the 67-year-old said: “It is the compulsion of time that I have to start out with a new political party for the next assembly general elections.”
In his short speech, Rajinikanth said democracy in Tamil Nadu was suffering and the need of the hour was to start changing the system from the base. He indicated that his focus area will be fighting corruption.
“At this juncture if I don’t enter politics, it will be a shame on me since people showered me with so much love and affection.”
He requested people to join his “political movement” and stressed that he will visit “each village and each street”.
“This is not cinema. It is reality,” he said amid a huge round of applause.
Speculations that Rajnikanth and actor Kamal Haasan would step into the political arena swirled after charismatic chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016.
Jayalalithaa’s left a vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics that saw a bitter infighting in the ruling AIADMK in the aftermath of her death.
The recently held by-elections in Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar seat was marred by allegations of corruption. Sidelined AIADMK leader Dhinakaran won the prestigious seat, causing embarrassment for chief minister E Palaniswami’s camp.