While Tamil actor Rajinikanth has refused to clear doubts about him taking a plunge into politics, one of his closest friends has insisted that "he won't disappoint 7 crore Tamilians".
Raj Bahadur, Rajinikanth's friend from the old days when he earned his livelihood as a conductor in Karnataka state-run buses, told The Hindu that the actor was "very concerned" about the future of the state after Jayalalithaa's death.
Bahadur told The Hindu:
"I have never seen him so tense. He expressed serious concern for the people of Tamil Nadu after the death of AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa. There is immense pressure on him from people and his fans to enter politics. Many, including me, want him to start his own party."
Now even as BJP's Pon Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, insisted that the party would "welcome" him, Rajinikanth didn't confirm his entry into politics. But he hasn't explicitly refused the offer either.
Rajinikanth, as well as his fans have said that they would prefer starting a new party, rather than joining an existing one. The 66-year-old actor had said earlier this week:
"If God willing, I may enter politics tomorrow. If I enter, I will be very truthful and will not entertain people who are in this to make money. I won't work with such people."
"Considering the hints he has been dropping, I think Rajini will not disappoint seven crore Tamilians," Bahadur added.
During the three-day meeting with his fans, Rajinikanth said that his name was often dragged into political debates despite him stressing that he was "neither an influential political leader nor a social activist."
"I made a mistake by supporting a political alliance 21 years ago. It was a political accident. Since then, politicians have misused my name on several occasions. But I have to clarify, I'm not joining any party," Rajinikanth said.
In 1996, the actor had supported the DMK-TMC alliance in Tamil Nadu, which swept the polls that year. But he has not been involved in any political activity since then.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: