Amid speculations of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth officially wading into politics, his close aide Karate Thiyagarajan on Sunday said the actor will launch a political party by May or June this year.
"Rajinikanth will launch his political party maximum by May or June," Mr Thiyagarajan told ANI.
Lambasting political rivals BJP and DMK, Mr Thiyagarajan said that Rajnikanth believes in "Hindu dharma but not Hindutva".
"DMK chief MK Stalin should do his homework to face Rajinikanth. He is talking a lot about Rajinikanth these days. He says Rajinikanth's words become headlines easily," he said
"(MK) Stalin was already defeated by AIAMDK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami in by-polls. He is disappointed. That is why he speaks again and again against Rajinikanth," he said.
Claiming that 2021 Assembly polls will be a direct fight between DMK and Rajnikanth, he said, "Rajinikanth will become chief minister of Tamil Nadu."
"You will see that the followers of DMK and AIADMK, as well as those of M Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran will support Rajinikanth when he starts a party officially," he added.
Mr Thiyagarajan's comments comes hours after Tamilaruvi Manian, another close aide of Rajinikanth, denied having made any comments regarding the launch of a political party by April this year.
"It has been wrongly reported. I was misquoted. I did not say that Rajinikanth will start his party in April or that by September he will begin a statewide tour to meet people," Mr Manian had told ANI over phone.
He asserted he has "no right" to speak on behalf of Rajinikanth.
"There is a lot of difference between 'maybe and 'will be'. I am a founder of Gandhiya Makkal Iyyakkam. It is Rajinikanth who is going to launch a party. He has to disclose it, I am no one. I am just his friend," he said.
Rajinikanth had first announced his willingness to form a political party in December 2017.