01:24 GMT20 January 2021
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    Fans of Rajinikanth, known as the God of Tamil cinema, have been waiting for the 70-year-old megastar to make his political debut for almost 25 years and on 3 December 2020, he finally announced that he would launch his political party and take part in the Tamil Nadu elections. But sudden illness has forced him to abandon his plans.

    Tens of Thousands of fans of megastar Rajinikanth took to the streets on Sunday in the state of Tamil Nadu's Chennai to protest and put pressure on him to reconsider his decision not to go into politics. 

    The incident shocked Rajnikanth, who has issued a statement saying it pains him to see his fans behave like this and urging them to desist.

    "I have given a detailed explaination for why I am unable [to enter politics]. I have made my decision - please don't pain me further by organising protests to lobby me to enter politics", Rajinikanth said in the statement posted on social media.

    Rajinikanth was admitted to hospital on 25 December and was receiving treatment for fluctuating blood pressure. This happened shortly after several colleagues on the set of his forthcoming film "Annaatthe" tested positive for COVID-19 in Hyderabad in the south of India.

    After being discharged, the actor announced on social media that his recent bout of ill health came like a "warning from God" and he will not go ahead with his plans to enter politics.

    "With extreme sadness, I say that I can't enter politics. I alone know how painful this decision is to me. My move will disappoint my fans and other people but please forgive me. I will serve the people without entering electoral politics", he said.

    "My hospitalisation was like a warning from God… Doctors have advised me that my unsteady blood pressure would affect my transplanted kidney. I'm regularly taking Immunosuppressant tablets so even a vaccine wouldn't be a guarantee… My campaign would affect my health during the pandemic", he added.

    Although some praised his decision, many took to the streets begging him to reconsider as they were eagerly waiting to see him at the political front.

    The actor, who shot to fame for his performance in films such as "Baashha", "Kabali", "Muthu", "Sivaji: The Boss", "Enthiran" (Robot), "Johnny", and "Chandramukhi" has millions of fans around the world.

    Related:

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    #IStandWithRajnikanth: Users Support Indian Actor for Speaking Out Against Social Activist Periyar
    'Warning From God': Superstar Rajinikanth Hailed for Not Joining Politics Due to Health Issues
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