Chennai: Actor Rajinikanth on Sunday announced his political debut and said he will launch his own party which will contest all 234 constituencies in the next Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.
The announcement ends two decades of speculation over the entry of the actor, who enjoys cult status in Tamil cinema, in the political arena. "I am joining politics and it is for sure," he said amid thunderous applause from fans.
Batting for honesty in politics and good governance, Rajinikanth said, "everything needs to be changed" and declared that "spiritual politics" needs to be ushered in, sans shades of any caste or religion with transparency.
Here are some of his top quotes:
- Asserting that he will not tolerate nepotism or under the table dealings, Rajinikanth said, "I want volunteers who will keep vigil and who will not go to any officials, ministers or MPs, or MLAs for selfish needs."
- Such 'volunteers' should question whoever commit mistakes, he said adding he needed only such people for his party. "I am only a representative of the people to monitor such vigilantes," he said.
- Rajinikanth said such a force of selfless volunteers who will act as not cadres but as 'vigilantes' was needed and it should be built. The actor said the first task would be streamlining the existing registered and unregistered fan clubs across the state.
- He appealed to his fans to bring all sections of people into the club so that it could transform into a party and "till then there is no need to indulge in political talk which includes me."
- "Politics and democracy have gone pretty bad," Rajinikanth said and added some political incidents in the past one year in Tamil Nadu has made every Tamilian hang his head in shame and people of all other states were "laughing at us."
- "If I do not take this decision now, the feeling of not having any effort to do good through democratic means to the Tamil people who gave me life will haunt me till my death," he said.
- Stressing that he knew that launching a party, capturing power and governing was not an "ordinary thing," Rajinikanth said it was akin to extracting pearl from sea. "This was possible only with the blessings of the God and full support of people," he said and expressed confidence that he will get both of it.
- Quoting a shloka from Bhagawad Gita, which stresses the importance of doing one's duty and leaving the result to the Lord, Rajinikanth said, "this is the compulsion of time."
"Engage in war, if you win you will rule the nation, if you die you will go to heaven. If you go without waging war, they will call you a coward," he said quoting the scripture.
- Entering politics was not for name or fame, Rajinikanth said and wondered if he would hanker for power now at the age of 68 when he did not have it at the age of 45 when he voiced his first political message against late CM J Jayalalithaa.
- "If hankering for power comes to me now am I not a fool?" he said and added it will also not suit his stature of a spiritually-oriented person.
- The policies of the party will be taken to the people at that time clearly outlining the policies what could be delivered and what not, Rajinikanth added. He said truthfulness, hard work and growth will be the slogan of his party. "Do good, speak and only good will happen," will be a guiding slogan, he said.
(With PTI inputs)