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Chennai, March 12, 2020
Asserting that he was not getting into politics for the sake of power, actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Thursday ruled himself out of the race for the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's post and said there was an urgent need for a change in the system.
Addressing the media here, the Tamil superstar categorically said that he was not interested in the Chief Minister's post.
He said that his political party and the government, in case it came to power, would have different leaders.
He said that 60-65 per cent of his party's candidate for the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls will be in the age group of 45-50. The remaining seats will go to "good people" in other parties, professionals, judges, and former IAS officers.
Recalling his speech on December 31, 2017, Rajini said that he was not into politics for power. At the age of 45 (in 1996) he was not interested in political power, and now at the age of 68 (in 2017) one cannot say he is power crazy, he recalled saying two years ago.
Earlier, a large number of the actor's fans assembled outside his residence and cheered loudly and showered flower petals as he drove out in his BMW car.
In a recent meeting with district Secretaries of Rajini Makkal Mandram, it was said that the actor-turned-politician had mooted the idea of keeping the party and the government separate.
On the other hand, his fans categorically asserted that Rajinikanth should be the party's chief ministerial candidate. If ever there has to be a division between party and the government, then the party leadership could be given to someone else, they said.
The fans also questioned why they should work and vote for someone else if Rajinikanth is not going to be the chief ministerial candidate.
On December 31, 2017, Rajinikanth had announced his decision to float a political party to practice 'spiritual politics' and contest all 234 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu in 2021.
The actor said at that time that his entry into politics was a "compulsion of the time" since the country's politics had gone wrong.
Rajinikanth had remarked that while earlier kings would invade other countries and loot them, nowadays political parties were looting their own people under the guise of democracy. The system needs a change, he added.
After 2017, Rajinikanth has voiced his views on some issues. In the wake of the anti-Sterlite Copper smelter plant protest in Tuticorin and killing of 13 persons in police firing, he said that Tamil Nadu would turn into a graveyard if protests were held for everything.
Later, he said that he was not a mouthpiece of the BJP and attempts were being made to paint him in saffron.
Recently, he asked for Union Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation in case the central government was unable to control the Delhi violence. He said that violent protests should be put down with an iron hand.