Rajinikanth to launch political party ahead of 2021 TN elections
After years of leaving his supporters waiting, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth announced on Thursday that he will be launching his political party. The party will be launched in January 2021, the 69-year-old said, adding that the party will contest the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, that are due to be held next year. Notably, the superstar's entry into politics has been speculated for many decades.
Party's launch in January; formal announcement on December 31
Taking to Twitter, Rajinikanth said that the party will be launched in January 2021, following an official announcement on December 31, 2020. According to The News Minute, he wrote in Tamil, "With great support from people, in the upcoming Assembly elections, an honest, righteous, transparent, corruption-free, casteless, secular and spiritual politics will be formed in Tamil Nadu for sure. Wonder... Miracle... will happen!!!"
You can view the tweet here
TN Assembly elections likely in May 2021
A January launch for the party will give Rajinikanth a few months to prepare for the 2021 polls—likely to be held in May. Earlier in March, he had said that even if his party contested the polls, he would not be the Chief Minister. "I will be the party chief, and the CM will be someone who is educated and farsighted," he had said.
Rajinikanth had met 32 RMM leaders this week
On Monday, Rajinikanth had interacted with 32 leaders of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) in a closed-door meeting. The RMM is his fan club-turned-political organization and is viewed as a precursor to his political party. During the meeting, he had asked the leaders why they believed he should launch a political party and contest the upcoming polls. Concerns over his health were also discussed.
Earlier, letter claiming Rajinikanth had dropped political plans was circulated
In October, a letter rumored to have been written by Rajinikanth had gone viral. It said that Rajinikanth had dropped his political plans due to a kidney transplant. Rajinikanth had then said that the letter was false, even as he confirmed his poor health.
In 2017, Rajinikanth had announced entry into politics
Rajinikanth's entry into politics has been speculated since 1996, when he had famously said, "Even God can't save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa returns to power." It is believed that his statement led to Jayalalithaa's AIADMK's loss and DMK-TMC alliance's victory. In December 2017, he had announced his entry into politics. However, he had never formally launched a political party since.