Indian film star Rajinikanth battles ill health, ends political bid

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The 70-year-old Tamil action hero said he would serve the people without entering electoral politics over health concerns.

Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth has cancelled his plans to enter politics, saying a health scare had been “a warning from God”.

The announcement came on Tuesday, one day after the 70-year-old Tamil action hero left hospital where he was treated for high blood pressure.

Rajinikanth, one of Asia’s best-paid actors, set off celebrations by his fans when he announced early in December that he would be launching a political party in a bid to bring “corruption-free” government to his home state of Tamil Nadu.

But the bus conductor-turned-actor said he could not go ahead in a long letter released on his Twitter account.

Rajinikanth, who has had several health scares, said, “I am sorry to let you know that I am not going to launch a political party.

“I will serve the people in whatever ways I can, without entering electoral politics,” he wrote in the Tamil-language letter.

Rajinikanth said he did not want to start such a major campaign and then leave it unfinished.

He said in 2017 that he wanted to enter politics but then left his fans waiting until this month when he said his party would bring “honest, transparent” politics to Tamil Nadu.

The actor proved his political muscle in 1996 when he called on fans to oppose the Tamil Nadu government led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party, which was then voted out of power.

The AIADMK and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party have dominated politics in the southern state for the past 50 years.

Rajinikanth has carried on with his film career despite his health concerns and had been shooting his latest movie in Hyderabad when he was taken ill last week.

AFP

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