Chennai: Actor-turned-politician Vijaykant on Wednesday allied with the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) of Vaiko’s MDMK, the Left and Dalit party VCK, and said he will be its chief ministerial candidate in Tamil Nadu.
The DMDK party of Vijaykant, popularly known as “Captain”, will put up candidates in 124 seats in the May battle for the 234-member assembly. The remaining seats will be fought by the MDMK and the other three parties.
The announcement makes the PWF a major force in the elections. Tamil Nadu is now expected to see multiple contests in almost all the 234 seats.
Vijaykant, 63, an action hero known to perform stunts in movies without a duplicate, said he joined hands with the PWF as it was a “people’s party”.
“My cadres wanted me to be the king. All the alliance partners have asked me to be the chief ministerial candidate,” he said.
A beaming Vaiko, coordinator of PWF, told the media: “This is the alliance the people were looking for.”
Added a PWF leader: “The election (in Tamil Nadu) will now be like a Kurukshetra war.”
Referring to the DMDK supporters’ demand that Vijaykant should be the king and not a kingmaker, Vaiko said the leaders of PWF would be the kingmakers who would make Vijaykant the ‘king’ (chief minister).
According to the PWF, there will be a coalition government in Tamil Nadu if the front wins the elections.
In a state where cinema has always cast a long shadow on politics, Vijaykant floated his party in 2005 as an alternative to the two dominant Dravidian parties — AIADMK and DMK.
When he fought the polls alone without aligning with any party, the DMDK notched up an impressive vote share, better than even the established MDMK and PMK.
As the DMDK’s vote share can add muscle to any alliance, he was the most sought after alliance partner by all opposition parties this time, the BJP included.
Called “Karuppu (Black) MGR” or Captain after his movie “Captain Prabhakaran”, Vijaykant has acted in over 150 Tamil movies.
Though he was never the No.1 hero, he charted his own style in the movie world — a fighter vanquishing terrorists and bad guys.
The DMK was routed in the 2011 elections winning just 23 seats. The DMDK, then an ally of the AIADMK, won 29 seats and was designated the principle opposition party.
However, soon after, the relationship between the AIADMK and DMDK soured. Eight DMDK legislators turned rebels and supported the ruling AIADMK.
In the Lok Sabha polls of 2014, the DMDK failed to win any of the 14 seats it contested as a major partner in the BJP-headed alliance. His vote share too dipped to around five percent.
Both the DMK and the BJP wooed Vijaykant this time. DMK leader M. Karunanidhi had publicly expressed the hope that the DMDK would join the DMK-led alliance which include the Congress.
The DMDK was upset that while BJP national leaders met Jayalalithaa when they came to Chennai, they ignored Vijaykant.
On Wednesday, however, both the DMK and BJP sang a different tune. BJP leader and union minister Pon Radhakrishnan termed the DMDK-MDMK-VCK-Left alliance as “anti-people”.
DMK leader M.K. Stalin said: “This is not going to affect us.”
Vaiko said a revolution took place in Tamil Nadu on March 6, 1967 when DMK founder C.N. Annadurai became the chief minister after defeating the Congress. “Similarly, a day will come when Vijaykant will be the chief minister.”