Tamil actor and DMDK founder Vijayakant passes away- The New Indian Express

    Tamil actor and DMDK founder Vijayakant passes away- The New Indian Express

    Express News Service

    CHENNAI: Tamil actor and founder of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) Vijayakant passed away at the age of 71 in Chennai on Thursday.

    He was being treated at a private hospital in the city for Corona infection. The veteran actor has been on ventilator support since last night. He is survived by DMDK general secretary Premalatha Vijayakant and his two sons. 

    “Captain Vijaykant was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he passed away in the morning on 28 December 2023,” a bulletin from the hospital confirmed.

    Viajyakant has not been keeping good health for the past few years and he was being treated at the hospital at frequent intervals. Three weeks ago, he was admitted to the hospital and there were rumours he passed away. However, Premalatha posted a video of Vijayakant showing him in good health.

    He was last spotted in public on December 18 when he chaired the DMDK’s general council meeting. With his health failing, the party’s baton was handed over to his wife Premalatha who was elected as the party’s General Secretary.

    Vijayakant was born in Madurai on August 25, 1952, and parents named him Vijayaraj. After he entered the cinema, he changed his name to Vijayakant.

    On September 14, 2005, Vijayakant launched his political party – the Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam (DMDK).

    Captain Vijaykant. (Express photo)

    In the 2006 assembly elections, the DMDK contested all 234 seats without an alliance and bagged only one seat with 8.38% of the vote. Vijayakant alone could win from the Virudhachalam constituency while all other candidates of his party were defeated.

    In the 2011 Assembly elections, the DMDK joined hands with the AIADMK led by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and won 29 seats.

    Vijayakant served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 2011 to 2016. Later, due to differences with the AIADMK, Vijayakant snapped ties with the party. 

    In the 2016 Assembly elections, Vijayakant led the People’s Welfare Front along with CPI, CPM, MDMK and VCK. However, the alliance could not make any impact. In the 2021 Assembly elections too, the DMDK’s performance was poor.

    He was one of the fierce politicians in Tamil Nadu who is known for his powerful and fiery speeches. However, he kept a very low profile after his ill health a few years ago.

    Vijayakant’s contribution to the Nadigar Sangam which is officially known as the South Indian Artiste’s Association was remarkable.  He was elected unopposed as the President of the Nadigar Sangam in August 2000. Viajyakant took many steps to clear the debt burden of the Sangam which ran into crores.

    He organised Star Night shows in Malaysia and Singapore to raise funds for the Nadigar Sangam. He stepped down as president of Nadigar Sangam after the launch of the DMDK. 

    Vijayakant’s fan clubs came in handy when he launched his political party.  Almost all his contemporaries in cinema have a good opinion about Vijayakant. This was due to his helping tendency.

    He helped fellow artists and those who sought assistance from him. He gave generously without seeking any publicity.

    Chief Minister MK Stalin paid his last respects to Vijayakant’s mortal remains. Senior Ministers accompanied him.  In his condolence message, Stalin said Vijayakant’s final rites will be performed with full State honours.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared on X (formerly Twitter), “Extremely saddened by the passing away of Thiru Vijayakanth Ji. A legend of the Tamil film world, his charismatic performances captured the hearts of millions. As a political leader, he was deeply committed to public service, leaving a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. His passing leaves a void that will be hard to fill. He was a close friend and I fondly recall my interactions with him over the years. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family, fans and numerous followers. Om Shanti.”

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