Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has announced that he would not contest upcoming Lok Sabha elections and also slammed the reports about him supporting the BJP or any other party in these elections.
Rajinikanth's critics feel that he has the potential to be successful in Indian politics and his fans had been calling for his entry into politics for years. He extended his support to Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), but he stayed away from active politics. However, he announced on December 31, 2017, that he will contest in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections in all 234 constituencies.
With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, several speculations were made about Rajinikanth's Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM). It was reported that his party would contest the impending parliament elections. Another buzz was that he would contest the election, but may extend support to the BJP or any other party.
But Rajinikanth has put all the speculations to rest by releasing a statement to media on his decision. "I'm not going to contest in Lok Sabha elections. Our target is assembly elections. My support is not for any party. Hence no party should use my photo or my outfit's logo in campaign," reads his statement in Tamil.
The 765-km-long Cauvery River, which is known as 'Ganga of the south', is the lifeline for Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. But the distribution of water has been a contentious issue for decades. In his statement to media, Rajinikanth also advised his fans to vote for a party that would form a strong government and implement schemes to solve Tamil Nadu's water crisis permanently.
His announcement comes in the wake of the AIADMK and the BJP looking to forge an alliance in Tamil Nadu, which has 39 parliament seats. The AIADMK and BJP had won 37 and two seats, respectively, in the 2014 polls, while the DMK suffered a washout. This will be the first major election in the state after the death of Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.