HomePoliticsActor-Politician Vijayakanth Dies At 71: Passing Away Of 'Captain' Deals a Blow...

Actor-Politician Vijayakanth Dies At 71: Passing Away Of ‘Captain’ Deals a Blow to Prospective Third Front in Tamil Nadu

X: @the_news_21

The demise of Tamil actor and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) leader Vijayakanth, fondly known as ‘Captain’ and ‘Black MGR,’ marks the end of a significant chapter in Tamil Nadu’s cinema and political landscape. After battling a prolonged illness, including pneumonia and a recent bout of Covid infection, Vijayakanth, aged 71, passed away in Chennai, leaving behind a legacy that transcended both cinema and politics.

Born as Vijayaraj in Madurai on August 25, 1952, Vijayakanth was a towering figure in the Tamil film industry, appearing in over 150 films. Renowned for his independent persona, he consciously maintained a distinct profile, notably avoiding sharing the screen with icons like Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. His 100th film, ‘Captain Prabakaran,’ not only earned him the moniker ‘Captain’ but also reflected his popularity among audiences.

Beyond his cinematic success, Vijayakanth ventured into politics, establishing the DMDK as an alternative force to the dominant Dravidian parties, the DMK and the AIADMK. His aspirations to ascend to the Chief Minister’s position positioned him as a formidable challenger to stalwarts like M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.

The DMDK made its electoral debut in the 2006 Assembly polls, securing over eight per cent of the State vote share and winning a solitary seat. Subsequently, the party’s influence expanded, registering a vote share of over 10 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, impacting more than 70 Assembly constituencies.

In 2011, Vijayakanth aligned with the AIADMK, aiding Jayalalithaa’s ascent to power. However, the alliance faltered swiftly due to internal discord, resulting in verbal altercations between Jayalalithaa and Vijayakanth in the State Assembly. The fallout led to numerous defamation cases against Vijayakanth, later dismissed by the Supreme Court, highlighting political turbulence in the state.

Despite political affiliations and disaffiliations, Vijayakanth’s health woes took a toll on his party and political alliances. His declining health, marked by struggles to speak or stand, became fodder for social media ridicule, overshadowing his serious illness.

Subsequent electoral setbacks, desertion by allies, and his party’s dwindling presence in the political sphere marked a stark decline in the DMDK’s influence. Vijayakanth’s passing leaves a void in the realm of Tamil Nadu’s third-front politics, with the DMDK facing an uncertain future.

The party’s recent poor performance in the Erode East Assembly bypolls underscores its diminishing relevance. The BJP-led alliance, where DMDK was once a participant, now stands fragmented in Tamil Nadu.

With the void left by Vijayakanth’s demise, the BJP could potentially fill the space of a strong third front, reshaping the political landscape in Tamil Nadu. However, the DMDK, now grappling with leadership uncertainties, might align as a minor player in this evolving scenario.

Vijayakanth’s final act of designating his wife, Premalatha, as the party leader at the last general council meeting signifies the DMDK’s struggle for survival. For a party that once aspired to chief ministership, it now faces an uphill battle for relevance in Tamil Nadu’s political arena. The passing of Vijayakanth marks not only the end of an era but also a transformative period in the state’s socio-political history.

Also Read: Enforcement Directorate Charge Sheet Involves Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra in Land Transactions


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read