Chennai: Days after Rajinikanth opted out of politics citing his health, his team has said members of his Rajini Makkal Mandram are free to resign and join other parties. The statement comes after some district chiefs of the megastar's outfit joined Tamil Nadu's main opposition party DMK today.

“Members can resign from Rajini Makkal Mandram and work with other political parties. Though they join other parties, the members of Rajini Makkal Mandram should not forget that they are fans of our beloved leader,” stated a press release issued by RMM manager VM Sudhakar. Rajinikanth’s fan clubs had been reorganised into RMM in 2018 and was believed to be the precursor to the party that the actor was widely expected to launch. 

On Sunday, the district secretaries of Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Theni and a few other leaders joined Tamil Nadu’s opposition party in the presence of its leader MK Stalin.

Rajinikanth’s decision to opt out of politics after decades of speculation came as a rude shock to thousands of supporters and fans. He had cited his health issues and the COVID-19 pandemic for not floating his political party. Having been hospitalised for fluctuating blood pressure and exhaustion in Hyderabad on December 25, Rajini said he saw it as a ‘warning given by god’.

Days later, he also appealed to his fans to stop pressuring him with protests and "not pain me again and again".

The BJP in Tamil Nadu had long banked on direct or tacit support by the veteran actor, who is credited with turning the tide against the ruling AIADMK in the 1996 polls with one comment: "If Jayalalithaa is voted back to power, even God cannot save Tamil Nadu."