From ‘surprise announcement’ to ‘sign from God’: A timeline of Rajinikanth’s perpetual political teaser

Chennai: In 2017, Rajinikanth conducted a meeting at the Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam where he dramatically announced his entry into politics.

In 2019, Rajinikanth said that he would not be contesting in the Lok Sabha polls and his  ‘Rajini Makkal Mandram’ will offer no support to other political parties.

Ever since the actor had announced his political foray in December 2017, every move of the actor has never failed to create a ripple among his fans. The much-anticipated entry of the actor into the politics was however delayed due to multiple reasons as cited by the sources close to Rajini, the recent one being the health issues and the prevailing pandemic situation.

October, 2020: A purported letter surfaced in the social media mentioning his health facts. However Rajini never denied the medical facts mentioned in the letter.

November 29, 2020: Rajinikanth met the office bearers of his Rajini Makkal Mandram. Reports surfaced that the Superstar was likely to announce a significant decision on his political entry and had warned the office bearers not to reveal the minutes of the meeting, until he makes an official announcement.

December 3, 2020: With Tamil Nadu Assembly elections around the corner, Rajinikanth tweeted his decision to launch a political party. At a press conference at his Poes Garden home, the 70-year-old actor-turned-politician vowed to change the fate of Tamil Nadu and stated that the state will witness a “spiritual governance”. He announced his political entry with his signature ‘punchline’ : “Mathuvom. Ellathayum Mathuvom. Ippo Illainna Eppovam Illai” which could be roughly translated as “Let us change everything. If change does not happen now, it will never materialise,” reminding one of his many famous film ‘punch’ dialogues.

The actor also announced that Tamilaruvi Manian, a vociferous advocate of the actor’s political entry, would supervise the political party launch and Dr R Arjuna Murthy would be chief organiser.

Superstar also added that further details on his political party will be revealed on December 31, 2020, while the new party will begin functioning from January 2021.

December 12, 2020: Fans of Superstar Rajinikanth fans celebrated his birthday more joyfully this year as their leader has finally decided to take a plunge in the political arena. Posters of greeting Rajinikanth on his birthday, welcoming him to adorn the CM chair and many more were also pasted by the Mandram members.

‘Aatchi Matram, Arasiyal Matram Ippo Illaina Eppovum Illai,’ (Political/regime change, now or never) and ‘Thalaivarum Mudalvarum Neeye’ (You are our leader and chief minister) were among the slogans found printed on the shirts of the actor’s supporters. ‘The fearless,’ The future of Tamil Nadu’ were some of the choicest words picked by Rajinikanth’s followers to describe him.

December 13, 2020: Thalaivar flew to Hyderabad to join the crew of ‘Annaatthe’- his upcoming movie directed by Siruthai Siva.  Director ‘Siruthai’ Siva had announced on the occasion of the Super Star’s birthday, that shooting of the movie will resume on December 15th after a break, due to the pandemic situation. Rest of the crew also were seen joining the sets. The makers of the movie -Sun Pictures also said that Rajinikanth was made to stay in a bio-bubble in order to protect him from infection.

December 15, 2020: Media reports said that the actor has chosen to use an already registered, though unrecognised party name – ‘Makkal Sevai Katchi’ as the name of his faction. It was also speculated that the electoral symbol ‘Auto Rickshaw’ was the symbol allotted to the party earlier, but since Rajinikanth has already launched his fans association flag with a ‘Baba’ symbol in it and it is already popular among his fans, there are possibilities that Rajini might request EC to allot him the same. It is to re-collected that Rajini also donned the role of Auto Rickshaw driver in the famous ‘Baasha’ movie.

December 23, 2020 The shooting of the Rajinikanth-starrer, ‘Annaatthe’, was halted after four of the film crew tested positive for COVID-19. The production house- Sun Pictures, said the top actor and other crew members have tested negative for the virus, while they were stayput in Hyderabad.

December 25, 2020 Superstar was admitted to Apollo Hospitals for severe blood pressure fluctuations and he was stable, as per hospital reports.  Also ,stating that he is “stable and resting”, a release from the corporate hospital said the actor will stay in hospital and undergo further investigations.

Apart from fluctuating blood pressure and exhaustion, he does not have any other symptoms and is “hemodynamically” stable, the statement said.

December 27, 2020 ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth was discharged from Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad on Sunday. “His blood pressure has been stabilised and he is feeling much better. In view of his improving medical condition, he is being discharged today,” the medical bulletin said.

The medical report released by the hospital also had a two-pointer recommendation to Rajinikanth, advising him to complete bed rest for a week and to stay away from tense situations and refrain from physical activities. He has also been counselled to avoid any activity that increases the risk of contracting Covid-19, the hospital added.

December 28, 2020 And at this point, there were rumours that the superstar might postpone his political announcement, while the RMM (Rajini Makkal Mandram) senior functionary, seeking anonymity, also asserted that the launch of Rajinikanth’s party will be as per schedule. Claiming that there are fewer chances of postponing the political party launch, the RMM cadre said, “Suggestions are also given to launch the party as per schedule through video conferencing on our leader’s social media.”
December 29, 2020 Superstar Rajinikanth announced that he is withdrawing his decision to contest in elections, also saying he will serve people without entering politics Rajini stated,  “I consider my recent fluctuation in blood pressure as a warning from the Almighty”.

He cited his health issue stating that this is not the right time to personally interact with lakhs of people. “Keeping the safety of my followers in mind, I have decided not to enter politics. However, Rajini Makkal Mandram will keep working as usual and I will serve my people without entering politics. Therefore, I request all and my fans and people of Tamil Nadu to accept my decision,” Rajinikanth said.

With Tuesday’s announcement, Rajinikanth has downed the curtains for his political plunge and the long run show that ran for several decades has finally come to an end.

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