Rajnikanth asks fans to kick smoking habit

Chennai: Tamil cinema icon Rajnikanth, whose inimitable style of popping a cigarette into his mouth earned him many a fan among youth, has urged them to kick the habit and indicated to them that he has no political ambitions.

The actor had even once extended support to a DMK-led combine in elections against AIADMK.

Addressing a gathering of his fans to mark his birthday after many years here last night, he said his illness had been caused by smoking, but admitted he was unable to give it up.

"I haven't quit smoking, but you should do so," he said adding he recovered from his kidney ailment, involving extensive medical treatment, only by God's grace and the prayers of his fans.

Responding to fans' pleas urging him to play a larger political role, he said he would not be an effective leader and had no plans to launch a party, but expressed gratitude to the Tamil people for "providing me with a livelihood."