Superstar Rajinikanth today confirmed his foray into politics, putting years of speculations to rest.

In a press conference, the actor, fondly known as "Thalaivar" among his fans, cited an urgent need to fix the political system in Tamil Nadu, before the state assembly elections in 2021.

"There is an immediate need to fix the (political) system. Getting into politics without fixing the system would be like cooking ponggal in a pot that has not been washed after containing fish curry."

He cited the monopoly of the "same old faces" in the state politics, saying his party will instead contain 60-65% people aged below 50.

"At present, youngsters cannot make it without familial political background or influence.

"In my party, there will be youths, and professionals with good reputation.

"I have also personally approached good people from other parties and retirees with interest to serve the public, who make up the remaining 30%," he said.

The actor, however, did not mention the name, nor the date of the launch of his party.

No plan of becoming CM

Rajinikanth also dismissed talks of him becoming the Chief Minister, should his party win in the state assembly elections.

There will be clear distinction in positions in his party, in terms of having different heads for the party, and the possible government headed by it, he said.

"I cannot imagine myself as a CM, sitting in the assembly [...]. If I wanted to become CM, I would have agreed to requests (to get into politics) way back in 1996.

"I just want to lead the party, and let an educated, and qualified youth with the vision to succeed, be elected to lead the state," he said.

"I also don't want people to join my party for positions, but for principles."

On his insistence on not wanting the CM post, Rajinikanth said: "When I was 45, I didn't want to become CM. I would be mad to change my stance now."

Rajinikanth said he hopes his reputation earned in his 45 years in cinema will act "as a bridge" between good governance, and the people.

He conceded that winning the state election will not be easy, given that his party will be going against two "giant" political parties in Tamil Nadu - the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and the AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam).

"You may wonder, can someone with cinematic influence go against these two giants?

"I say it's not about that. The awareness of the people is what counts. Once they are awake, any giant political entity can be defeated."

Rajinikanth is not the first South Indian actor to have transitioned from the silver screen to politics.

His predecessors include yesteryears actor MG Ramachandran (MGR), and J Jayalalitha, both of whom have spent stints as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

Rajinikanth's counterpart - Ulaganayagan Kamal Hassan also started his own political party Makkal Needhi Maiam in 2018, and his party contested in parliamentary elections in May this year.

Source: Times of India
Video source: Puthiyathalaimurai TV