Superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday created a flutter in the political circles of Tamil Nadu and among his massive fan base after he hinted that he was "not scared" of joining politics.
"Everybody wants me to join politics. I'm aware of its depth and danger. I'm not afraid, but just a little hesitant," Rajinikanth said at the audio release promotional event for his new action film "Lingaa".
The actor's statement comes just months after he was famously called upon by now Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited him before the general elections this year, sparking rumours that the star could be roped in for campaigning.
However, this is not the first time that speculations are being drawn about Rajinikanth's entry into politics.
According to reports, he was set to campaign for the Congress ahead of the 1996 elections in the state and had also met former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao for the same, The Hindu reported.
However, the campaign was reportedly called off due to the actor's decision to leave for the United States, the report says.
In fact, given his massive mass appeal, it is believed that the superstar's statements about AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa led to her defeat in the 1996 elections.
"If Jayalalithaa is voted back to power, even god cannot save Tamil Nadu," Rajinikanth had reportedly said.
Now with Jayalalithaa out of reckoning for the next 10 years, the political space in Tamil Nadu seems ripe for the star to make his entry.
Rajinikanth is also said to have long had affinity for the Bharatiya Janata Party, and in 2004 he had reportedly pledged support to the NDA alliance for its efforts towards linking of rivers.
As per this Hindu article from 2004, Rajinikanth had said, "I will cast my vote for the Vajpayee-led BJP front in Tamil Nadu, but I will not force my fans or the public to vote for the same combine."
The question now is who can woo the superstar ahead of the crucial assembly polls in 2016. While it is still to be seen if the DMK approaches Rajinikanth, state BJP president Tamilisai Soundarrajan has reportedly already made overtures by inviting Rajinikanth to join her party, as reported by The Indian Express.
However, sensing fresh trouble for his party in the state after much political drama, new Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president EVKS Elangovan had "advised" the actor to stay away from politics, stating that he is loved by all for his acting.
"Personally as well as a politician, I would discourage him even if he wants to join Congress," he reportedly said.
For now, the superstar has left it to "God" to decide his future in politics.
"It's not in my hands. If God is willing, I will serve the people," he said on Sunday.