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Will fill void left by Jayalalithaa’s death, says neta Rajinikanth in debut speech

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Rajinikanth on Monday promised an MG Ramachandran-style “pro-poor, pro-people governance” to Tamil Nadu voters and vowed to fill the void left by the death of J Jayalalitha and the illness of Karunanidhi.

“Tamil Nadu is in need of a big leader and I’m there…God is on my side,” Rajinikanth said while speaking at the MGR University in Chennai. He was delivering his much-awaited debut political speech.

He explained that his brand of “spiritual” politics was “clean, transparent governance.”

The actor lavished praise on MGR, saying the time he spent in power was “golden” for Tamil Nadu. “He worked for the welfare of the poor people. That’s why he ruled Tamil Nadu for 13 years continuously,” Rajinikanth said.

On a more personal note, he credited MGR with putting in a good word for him with his wife Latha’s family, before they got married.

He explained that he wasn’t trying to cut into the ruling party’s vote share by praising their founder. “Just because I said all this about MGR doesn’t not mean I’m try to pull AIADMK votes,” he said.

ANALYSIS | Tamil Nadu Opinion Poll: 17 per cent AIADMK voters prefer Rajinikanth as CM

In his speech, he also apologised for banners and posters his fans put up in Chennai ahead of the speech, and appealed to them not to do so.

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