DMDK founder Vijayakanth dies at 71

"Captain Vijayakanth was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff he passed away in the morning" said a press release

Praised as 'Karuppu MGR' (black MGR) by his fans for his generosity, Vijayakanth has been ill and kept a low-profile for the past 4-5 years. (photo: National Herald archives)
Praised as 'Karuppu MGR' (black MGR) by his fans for his generosity, Vijayakanth has been ill and kept a low-profile for the past 4-5 years. (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

DMDK founder-leader and popular Tamil actor Vijayakanth who sowed the seeds of hope among his fans, admirers and the people on the possibility of a real alternative to the Dravidian majors, the DMK and AIADMK died on Thursday, 28 December following illness. He was 71.

Praised as 'Karuppu MGR' (black MGR) by his fans for his generosity, Vijayakanth has been ill and kept a low-profile for the past 4-5 years and his wife Premalatha formally took over the reins of the DMDK on 14 December when she was declared the general secretary at a party meet.

MIOT International hospital said in a press release: "Captain Vijayakanth was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff he passed away in the morning on 28th December 2023."

Vijayakanth allied with the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections and the Jayalalithaa-led bloc won the polls and the DMDK founder went on to become the Leader of the Opposition.

His verbal duel with Jayalalithaa in the Assembly took the state by storm and he appeared all set to take on the powers-that-be and break down the hegemony of the Dravidian parties, that have held sway for over half a century in Tamil Nadu's political landscape.

While the party statement had said that Vijayakanth had tested positive for coronavirus and was under ventilator, the hospital bulletin said he battled pneumonia. Hospital sources said the party issued that statement even before the results for the second round of samples were available.

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Published: 28 Dec 2023, 11:18 AM
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