Actor Rajnikanth on Thursday (October 29) dismissed reports of him having written a letter that was ‘leaked’ stating that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his plans to get actively involved in politics.
The letter has been making its rounds on social media over the last few days.
The letter also noted that doctors had advised the actor to restrict his movement, since he had a kidney condition and was more susceptible to COVID-19. “A traditional campaign would bring down my health. I don’t worry much about myself; not as much as about those who are around me,” the letter had apparently read.
Rajinikanth denied having written this letter and said the contents of the letter about his entry into politics were false. However, he said in a statement put out on Twitter that the information about his health condition was true.
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) October 29, 2020
He further said he would announce his decision on entry into politics after consultation with the members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram. “I shall discuss my entry into politics with members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram and announce my political stand at an appropriate time,” the 69-year-old actor said.
Sources close to Rajinikanth told NDTV that he would meet with office bearers of his party virtually soon and might announce his decision on electoral politics during the last week of December 2020 or early January 2021.
They also confirmed that Rajinikanth was hesitant to plunge fully into politics mainly because of his immune system, which was believed to be weakened by his age and the kidney transplant he underwent.
Rajinikanth’s comment comes just months before the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, which was, until now, widely believed to be his debut poll.
Rajnikanth formally announced his entry into politics on December 31, 2017. Even though he had said he would not be joining the BJP, his stand on the demonetisation in 2016 and the abrogation of Article 370 suggest a preference by the actor for the right-wing party.
Furthermore, Rajinikanth had earlier said he would contest the 2021 Assembly polls in all 234 assembly constituencies.
However, in March, the actor said he would not contest the elections just to become chief minister, and that he genuinely wanted to see a positive change in society. “I had the opportunity in 1996 and did not take it up at 45. If I do it now, I would be called a fool,” Rajinikanth had said in March at a press meet in Chennai.
The actor had also said youngsters and those under the age of 50 must be fielded as party candidates. He asserted that a political party and the government “should not be headed by the same person”.