Rajinikanth to enter political arena

Rajinikanth, the wildly popular Indian cinema star who inspires almost god-like adulation in some parts of the country, announced his entry into politics on Sunday.

It ended a wait of almost two decades for many of his fans, especially in the southern state of Tamil Nadu where he is revered and referred to simply as "The Superstar".

"I will form my own political party and contest for all 234 seats in the next (state) assembly election," the 67-year-old actor told a hall packed with supporters in the state capital Chennai, which has been hit by political instability since the death in December 2016 of its charismatic chief minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram, also a former movie star.

"I am not doing it for any post or money or fame as I have enough," he said of his political plans.

India's junior finance minister Pon Radhakrishnan congratulated him on Twitter.

One of Bollywood's biggest stars, Amitabh Bachchan, tweeted: "My dear friend, my colleague and a humble considerate human, Rajinikanth, announces his decision to enter politics... my best wishes to him for his success," he tweeted.