DMDK’s ‘Captain’ Vijayakanth loses battle with Covid

Public TV English
Public TV English
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CHENNAI, NEW DELHI: Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazgam (DMDK) chief Captain Vijayakanth (71) passed away at a hospital in Chennai, this morning. He had tested positive for Covid-19, the party informed on Thursday. ‘Captain’ Vijayakanth will be laid to rest with state honours, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said.

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian has reached Vijayakanth’s house in Chennai. Earlier in the day, the party informed through a post on its official X handle that Vijayakanth was admitted to a hospital and put on ventilator support after he complained of breathing problems.

His mortal remains were brought to his residence and were to be taken to the DMDK office shortly. Last month, Vijayakanth was admitted to MIOT Hospital in Chennai as his health deteriorated. Suffering from cough and throat pain, he was under the observation of doctors for 14 days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday condoled the demise of DMDK founder-leader and actor Vijayakanth. “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”, PM Modi posted from his official handle on X.

Recalling his past interactions with the ‘Captain’, PM Modi said the demise of the DMDK chief has left a void that is hard to fill. “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”, Prime Minister Modi posted.

Also condoling the demise of the DMDK chief, the BJP’s Tamil Nadu president K Annamalai posted earlier in the day, “Captain Vijayakanth’s demise is a loss for Tamil Nadu and the Tamil people. Though he is no longer with us, his name and legacy will live on in our hearts and minds”.

“Deeply saddened and saddened to hear of the passing away of DMDK leader, respected Captain Vijayakanth. Born in the South East, he is proud to have built the South Indian film industry. A gentleman who quenched the hunger of the poor workers”, Annamalai said in a post on X.

“A wonderful artist who is loved by Tamil people all over the world. A selfless leader. He aims only for the welfare of the Tamil people. A word is not a deed, a person who stands by his word. An unassuming man”, Annamalai added.

Calling Vijayakanth’s demise a loss to Tamil Nadu and its people, Annamalai said, “Though his life departs from us, his fame will live on in his name. On behalf of the Tamil Nadu BJP, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends, DMDK volunteers and the public who are bereaved of Captain. I pray to the Lord that his soul may reach the Lord”.

Widely known as ‘Captain’, Vijayakanth’s life is marked by a successful career in the Tamil film industry. He featured in 154 movies before venturing into politics.

While holding a position at Nadigar Sangam (officially known as the South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA)), Vijayakanth brought revolutionary changes to the South film industry. He founded the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazgam (DMDK) in 2005.

In 2006, the DMDK contested in all Assembly seats and bagged a lowly 10 per cent of the total vote share. However, none of the party’s candidates, apart from the founder-leader came out on the winning side. In 2011, DMDK fought the elections in alliance with the AIADMK and contested 41 constituencies, winning 26.

The Captain’s party scripted history, winning more seats than the DMK in 2011 and emerged as the principal Opposition Party that year. Vijayakanth served as the leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly from 2011-2016. Later, owing to differences of opinion, the DMDK broke ties with the AIADMK, resulting in bulk resignations of DMDK MLAs. The party, therefore, lost its status of being the main Opposition party.

He served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly twice, representing the Virudhachalam and Rishivandiyam constituencies. The DMDK contested the 2014 parliament elections in alliance with the NDA but faced a huge defeat and its vote percentage saw a significant drop. In the 2016, 2019 and 2021 elections, the DMDK didn’t perform well as Vijayakanth battled health complications. (ANI)

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