Ending nearly two decades of speculation over his political fate, superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday announced the launch of a party, just in time to contest the next Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.”I am surely coming to politics. In the next Assembly election, I will launch a political party and contest from all 234 seats,” he said amid thunderous applause by fans, who have been waiting for this day for over two decades now. He promised people that he would usher in an era of secular and “spiritual” politics.Tamil Nadu politics seems to have taken an interesting turn. Last month, actor Kamal Haasan announced his political plunge after the death of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.Significantly, the actor’s announcement came in the wake of both the ruling AIADMK and DMK suffering shocking defeat in the bypoll to Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar Assembly seat.The buzz over Rajinikanth’s political entry has been doing rounds since 1996, when he backed DMK-Tamil Manila Congress alliance to unseat late Jayalalithaa from power.The next state polls are due in May 2021, if the ruling AIADMK government survives its full five-year term.Rajini said he would not contest the Local Body polls, to be held next year, since he has little time for preparations. He, however, said that he would take a call on the Lok Sabha polls, which are due in 2019 at the time of elections.Rajinikanth also urged his fans to focus on expanding their associations to every nook and corner of the state, enrolling all people, including youths and women in large numbers, until the launch of the party.”I will start a political party before the state Assembly elections. Till then, I request fans to not speak about politics or speak ill of any political party,” he said.He added: “I don’t want cadres. I want saviours who will not work for their own benefit but question the wrongdoings. I will be a representative who will watch over this.” He said his party would seek the people’s support based on promises made to them. “If we are not able to fulfill the promises, we will resign from the government in three years,” he assured.Stating that he has decided to take the political plunge considering the degeneration of politics in the state, the 68-year-old actor said the developments in the last one year have made the people hang their heads in shame. “Politics has become very tainted. Democracy has become battered. The political climate in Tamil Nadu has made us hang our heads in shame. If I don’t act now, I will feel guilty. I want to change the entire political system. We need politics devoid of caste and religion. We need spiritual politics,” he said.Stating that what he intended to do was not an easy task, Rajinikanth said: “I know it is like diving in the ocean to find a pearl. I am confident that I will have god’s blessings and support of the people.”Accusing the state political parties of looting the people, the actor said: “Earlier, kings looted the country and the people. Now in the name of democracy, politicians coming to power are looting their own people. It is time for a change.”

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