Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth, who has been in Hyderabad for the production of his upcoming film Annaathe, cancelled its shoot today after a few crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
“Superstar Rajinikanth and other crew members have tested negative,” the film’s production studio, Sun Pictures, confirmed on Twitter.
The coronavirus infection in four crew members was detected during routine testing, it added.
Announcement : During routine testing at #Annaathe shoot 4 crew members have tested positive for Covid19. Superstar @rajinikanth and other crew members have tested negative. To ensure utmost safety #Annaatthe shooting has been postponed.
— Sun Pictures (@sunpictures) December 23, 2020
The 70-year-old actor has been on shoot since mid-December for Siruthai Siva’s Annaathe, which features four women in the lead — Nayanthara, Keerthy Suresh, Khushbu and Meena.
Rajinikanth, one of India’s highest paid actors, had announced his decision to join politics earlier in December after months of delay over health concerns in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
He finally took the plunge on December 3 saying “it’s now or never”. The decision came weeks after a leaked letter seemed to indicate that doctors had advised him to stay away from politics, given his health after a renal transplant, which made him vulnerable to Covid.
“I am ready to sacrifice my life for the Tamil people,” he declared, adding he will announce his party’s name on New Year’s Eve and launch it in January, five months before the Tamil Nadu election.
The bus conductor-turned-actor’s plunge into politics after years of wait was welcomed by Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who is also the coordinator of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Mr Panneerselvam had said he hoped for an alliance.
The AIADMK is one of the two poles of Tamil Nadu politics – the DMK being its rival. The two parties will be keenly watching the moves of Rajinikanth’s new outfit, which the actor said last week, will follow “spiritual secular politics” with no caste or religion.