Vijayakant, actor and DMDK founder, passes away

The news of Vijayakant’s death was confirmed shortly after the party issued a statement that he was put on ventilator support due to breathing difficulties.

Updated - January 03, 2024 12:04 pm IST

Published - December 28, 2023 09:06 am IST - Chennai

DMDK founder Vijayakant. File

DMDK founder Vijayakant. File | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant who was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai for pneumonia, passed away on Thursday, December 28, 2023. He was 71.

The news of his death was confirmed shortly after the party issued a statement that he was put on ventilator support due to breathing difficulties after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Vijayakant: DMDK founder, actor, philanthropist, who briefly altered TN’s bipolar political landscape

Vijayakant, fondly called ‘Captain’ by his followers, was hospitalised on November 18 for around three weeks as he needed “pulmonary support” according to the hospital and was discharged only two weeks ago.

After being discharged, a visibly frail Vijayakant was present at the party executive and general council meeting on December 14, in which party treasurer and wife Premalatha Vijayakanth was elected as the general secretary. It was the last public function he attended.

Also read: Vijayakant: The ‘angry young man‘ of Kollywood who turned into a mass hero

According to a statement from MIOT hospital, ‘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, the hospital said.

Vijayakant, after MGR, is the only film actor who could achieve a measure of success in politics. Even though M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa also had a veritable film career, they had inherited a party left behind by their mentors C.N. Annadurai and M.G. Ramachandran respectively.

Also Read: Vijayakant’s funeral LIVE updates | Thousands gather to pay their last respects

Unlike his contemporaries Kamal Haasan and Rajinikant, who wavered, Vijyakant took a political plunge once he decided and launched his party Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam and rattled stalwarts M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa by emerging as a third force in 2006. His emergence saw Karunanidhi leading a minority government in Tamil Nadu with the support of allies between 2006 and 2011. Read more

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