Indian film star Rajinikanth ends political bid over health fears

The Tamil action hero has recently been treated for high blood pressure

Indian actor Rajinikanth (C) addresses the media representatives in front of his residence in Chennai on December 3, 2020. Indian film superstar Rajinikanth announced on December 3 that he is going into politics vowing to bring in "corruption-free" politics. / AFP / -

Indian film star Rajinikanth, 70, has cancelled his plans to enter politics, saying a health scare had been "a warning from God".

The announcement came on Tuesday, a day after the Tamil action hero left hospital where he was treated for high blood pressure.

Rajinikanth, one of Asia's best-paid actors, set off celebrations by his fans when he announced early in December that he would be launching a political party in a bid to bring "corruption-free" government to his home state of Tamil Nadu.

But the bus conductor-turned-actor said he could not go ahead in a long letter released on his Twitter account.

"I am sorry to let you know that I am not going to launch a political party. I will serve the people in whatever ways I can, without entering electoral politics," he wrote in the Tamil-language letter.

Rajinikanth said he did not want to start such a major campaign and then leave it half finished.

Rajinikanth said in 2017 that he wanted to enter politics but then left his fans waiting until this month when he said his party would bring "honest, transparent" politics to Tamil Nadu.

The actor proved his political muscle in 1996, when he called on fans to oppose the Tamil Nadu government, which was then voted out of power.

Rajinikanth has carried on with his film career despite his health concerns and had been shooting his latest film in Hyderabad when he was taken ill last week.