||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2015)|
|Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu|
13 May 2011-Incumbent
|13th Member of the Legislative Assembly (India)|
8 May 2006 – 8 May 2011
25 August 1952
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Political party||Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation||Actor, Producer, Director, Politician|
Vijayaraj better known by his stage name Vijayakanth, is an Indian politician and the current Leader of the Official Opposition of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Prior to becoming a politician, he was a leading film actor in Tamil cinema from 1979 to 2010. He is the founder of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and a Member of Legislative Assembly representing the constituency of Rishivandiyam. In films, he is credited with the title "Puratchi Kalaingar"(revolutionary artist) while also commonly referred to as "captain" following the success of his film Captain Prabhakaran (1991).
Vijayakanth is one of the very few Tamil actors to have acted only in Tamil movies throughout his career, though his movies have been dubbed into other languages like Telugu.He has also starred in a Hindi movie titled "Zakhmee" alongside "Sunil Dutt" His first film was Inikkum Ilamai. His subsequent films Dhooraththu Idi Muzhakkam, Neerottam and Agal Vilakku were not commercially successful. He then had a success with Sattam Oru Iruttarai, and his career took off. He is nicknamed Captain after the 1991 movie Captain Prabhakaran which was his 100th film. His 125th film was Ulavuthurai.
- Oru Iniya Udhayam
- Vanathai Pola
- Pulan Visaranai
- Oomai Vizhigal
- Senthoora Poove
- Neranja Manasu
- En Aasai Machan
- Ezhai Jaathi
- Karuppu Nila
- Captain Prabhakaran
- Chinna Gounder
- Enga Muthalali
- Sethupathi IPS
- Dharma Chakkaram
- Periya Maruthu
- Thai Mozhi
- Tamizh Selvan
- Honest Raj
- Veeram Vilanja Mannu
- Enkitta Mothathe
- Vaanathai Pola
- Chokka Thangam
- Engal Anna
- Neranja Manasu
- Uzaithu vazha vendum
- Santhosa Kanavugal
Awards and recognition
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- 1986 - Filmfare Best Actor Award for Amman Koyil Kizhakalae
- 1989 - Cinema Express Best Actor Award for Poonthotta Kavalkaran
- 2001 - Kalaimamani Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu
- 2001 - Cinema Express Best Actor Award for Vanathai Pole
- 2001 - Indian Government's Best Citizen award
- 2009 - Filmfare Top 10 Legends of Tamil Cinema Award
- 2001 - Government of Tamil Nadu presented the title and award of Kalaimamani
He formed the center-left party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), a regional political party in Tamil Nadu. He formally announced the party's formation on 14 September 2005 in Madurai. His party contested in all seats in 2006 assembly elections and won one seat contested by him. The DMDK, led by Vijaykanth, proved to be an important player in the 2006 Tamil Nadu assembly election, garnering 10% of the voters and securing 10.1% in this Lok Sabha election. According to the study, it secured more votes than the winning margins of candidates in about 25 constituencies. In 2006, polling showed that DMDK was able to get more DMK votes than AIADMK votes, but in this election according to the table on the right, they were able to wrestle more Congress voters from 2004, than any another party. Contrary to the claim of many in the AIADMK camp blaming DMDK for the defeat, there is no evidence for this to be true. Vijaykanth has declared that he would not ask donations for his party, and most of the funding for the party comes from his own pocket. He has so far rejected alliances with other political parties. In a by-elections to Madurai Central assembly constituency DMDK has secured around 17000 votes which is just 2000 votes less than ADMK. DMDK was also able to secure significant no of seats in Local Body elections.
Leader of the Official Opposition, 2011
In the 2011 election held on 13 April 2011 he formed an alliance with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and contested in 41 constituencies. His party saw phenomenal success by winning 29 of the 41 seats it had contested from. It is a significant day in the history of Tamil Nadu as DMDK has won more seats than the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and vijayakanth occupied the position of MLA for the second time. Vijayakanth emerged victorious from the Rishivandhiyam constituency in the 2011 state assembly elections. Cho Ramaswamy encouraged Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) to forge an alliance with AIADMK. DMDK launched a vigorous campaign to defeat DMK; It made a resolution to call all parties to come together to defeat the ruling DMK in a conference held in Salem on 8 January presided over by its leader Vijayakanth. S. Ramadoss, leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi expressed his dissatisfaction with people from film industry ruling Tamil Nadu since 1967. He also urged voters not to vote for Vijayakanth with long career as a Tamil actor.
Following the election, Jayalalitha and Vijayakanth fiery exchanges in the assembly that started the rift between the two parties. Due to this reason, Vijayakanth got separated from AIADMK. In the 2014 parliament elections, DMDK forged an alliance with BJP, a non-DMK and non-ADMK alliance of parties such as MDMK, PMK, IJK, and other small parties. Even though his party did not show well in the polls, his image in the national politics rose with PM Modi giving special reference to him in the NDA leaders meet and referring him as his friend.
The media has widely publicized an ongoing dispute between Vijayakanth and comedic actor Vadivelu, who was Vijayakanth's co-star in a number of notable films. On 21 September 2008, Vadivelu's residence, located in Saligramam in Chennai, was pelted with stones by a gang leaving several windows and furniture damaged. Vadivelu reported that he suspected that it was Vijayakanth's men who because of a court case which he had filed against Vijayakanth for assault, for which the final court hearing was to take place the following day. The attack may have been set up to prevent Vadivelu from attending the hearing. Filing another case for attempted murder against Vijayakanth, Vadivelu mentioned his interest in competing against him in the next assembly elections and "teaching him a lesson." In response, Vijayakanth told a press meet on that Vadivelu's allegations are based on hearsay. During the legislative assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in 2011, Vadivelu vehemently campaigned for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliance. During his public speeches, he predominantly condemned Vijayakanth, whose party, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), allied with the opposition party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). In a campaign speech in Tiruvarur, Vadivelu stated that "(his) only aim is to sweep out Vijayakanth’s whole team and to campaign vigorously for DMK’s victory". Vadivelu was criticized as being biased, only supporting a DMK-led victory for personal gains and not once mentioning the then-official opposition, the AIADMK, or its leader, J. Jayalalitha. In a turn of events, the election was eventually successful for the AIADMK alliance while Vijayakanth was victorious by a significant margin[quantify] in his own constituency and vadivelu admitted his defeat.
He founded Shri Andal Alagar College of Engineering in 2001. His wife is the chairman of this college. On October 1, 2001, Vijayakanth declared that October 1, which is actor Sivaji Ganesan's birthday, be observed as Actors' Day in Tamil Nadu. In 2001, he was the former president of South Indian Film Artistes' Association and under his presidency the debts of the association were cleared by organising celebrity shows overseas. Vijayakanth has launched a 24-hour television channel called Captain TV on April 14, 2010.
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