Rajinikanth. Image Credit: Supplied

Indian superstar Rajinikanth will be conferred with the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award, confirmed Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

"Happy to announce Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic," Javadekar tweeted.

On learning about his laurel from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajinikanth tweeted: “My heartfelt thanks to the government of india, respected & dearest @narendramodi ji, @PrakashJavdekar ji and the jury for conferring upon me the prestigious #DadasahebPhalkeAward I sincerely dedicate it to all those who have been a part of my journey. Thanks to the almighty 🙏🏻.”

The 70-year-old icon, who’s also the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan (2016) and Padma Bhushan (2000), is one of India’s biggest stars and enjoys massive clout and an ardent fan following.

The self-made actor, who famously worked as a bus conductor before courting global fame, made his debut in K. Balachander’s 1975 Tamil drama 'Apoorva Raagangal'.

His style of flipping his sunglasses and cigarettes is legendary and his career catalogue is filled with hits including ‘Sivaji’ (2007) and ‘Enthiran’. In his illustrious career, Rajinikanth has also dabbled in Bollywood films including ‘Hum’ with Amitabh Bachchan and ‘Chaal Baaz’ with the late actress Sridevi.

In December 2013, he was honoured by NDTV as one among the “25 Greatest Global Living Legends” and a year later in 2014, he was presented with the “Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year” at the 45th International Film Festival of India held at Goa.

As soon as the news broke, congratulatory tweets have been pouring in.

BJP national general secretary CT Ravi tweeted: "Heartiest Congratulations to Thalaiva @rajinikanth on being awarded the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award for 2021.”

"One of the greatest Actor of His generation, contribution of Thiru Rajinikanth to Indian cinema is exemplary. I share this happiness with His crores of Fans," tweeted another BJP member.