Ending long-drawn suspense, actor Rajinikanth announced his entry into politics on Sunday, promising to launch a party and fight the next assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in all 234 seats.

Quoting a shloka from the Bhagwad Gita which stresses the importance of doing one’s duty and leaving the rest to the Lord, he said, “It is the compulsion of time.”

“I am joining politics for sure,” the 67-year-old said amid thunderous applause from fans at a packed Sri Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in state capital Chennai, which has in the past seen film stars becoming chief ministers.

In his short speech, the actor said democracy was in a bad shape and some recent incidents had made Tamil Nadu the laughing stock of the nation.

“In the name of democracy, politicians are robbing us of our own money in our own land,” he observed, adding that there was a need to change the system from the base to fight corruption. He called on the people to become his army, not cadre, in the fight.

“I will visit each and every village and street of Tamil Nadu,” said the actor who is revered as ‘Thalaivar’ (chief) in the region.