Rajinikanth’s entry will shake up Tamil Nadu parties and alliances as they prepare for the Tamil Nadu elections due in five months.

Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth was stunned on Thursday by announcing his decision to enter politics just weeks after he had spoken about being told by doctors that his health could not be up to the challenge.

“I am willing to sacrifice my life for the sake of Tamil people,” the 69-year-old declared with a dramatic blend of idealism, daring, sacrifice, and emotion that matches the “Thalaiva (leader)” of the movies.

Even after Rajinikanth met the district secretaries of his Rajini Makkal Mandram on Monday, not many were optimistic. When he was looking for more time, they figured their leader was setting them up for failure.

Can Rajinikanth pull off an NTR?

NTR or NT Rama Rao was a superstar before he entered politics in the neighborhood of Andhra Pradesh. In 1982, he began his political party, and months later at the age of 59, he became Chief Minister.

In Tamil Nadu, which has always seen rivals AIADMK and DMK dominate polls, and where caste plays a major role, where does Rajinikanth stand with his yet-to-be-launched party and make a vow to get rid of caste, creed, or religion?

The ruling castes in the state already have their champions—the Gounders of Chief Minister E Palanisami of the AIADMK, the Thevars of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the Vanniyars of Ramadoss, and the planned castes of the VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi).

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