Vijayakanth, actor and DMDK founder, dies in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19

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In a somber turn of events, Tamil cinema legend and DMDK chief, Vijayakanth, breathed his last at a private hospital in Chennai on Thursday. The 71-year-old actor-turned-politician succumbed to complications arising from a battle with Covid-19, despite being on ventilator support. However, the hospital’s official statement indicated that he had been admitted for pneumonia.

Vijayakanth’s unexpected demise comes just days after being admitted to the hospital for what was initially described as a routine health check-up by his party. The party had reassured the public of his good health, stating that he would soon return home after undergoing necessary tests.

The hospital’s official statement regarding his passing read, “Captain Vijayakanth was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he passed away in the morning on 28th December 2023.”

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has declared that the DMDK leader will be accorded full state honors during his final rites.

Expressing grief over the loss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X to pay his respects, acknowledging Vijayakanth’s iconic contributions to Tamil cinema and his significant role in state politics. Modi’s post on X read, “Extremely saddened by the passing away of Thiru Vijayakanth Ji. A legend of the Tamil film world, his charismatic performances captured the hearts of millions.”

Modi further shared, “As a political leader, he was deeply committed to public service, leaving a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. His passing leaves a void that will be hard to fill. He was a close friend, and I fondly recall my interactions with him over the years. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family, fans, and numerous followers. Om Shanti.”

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramaniam has already visited the residence of Captain Vijayakanth in Chennai, extending condolences to the grieving family.

Vijayakanth’s journey in the public eye has been a multifaceted one, marked by both a successful career in the film industry with 154 movies to his credit and a notable stint in politics. Having founded the DMDK, he served as an elected Member of Legislative Assembly twice and reached the pinnacle of his political career as the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 2011 to 2016.

While his health had been a subject of concern in recent years, leading him to take a step back from active political engagement, Captain Vijayakanth leaves behind a legacy that resonates through the annals of both Tamil cinema and politics.

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