Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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DMDK announces list of nine candidates

IN FULL FLOW: DMDK president Vijayakant addressing an election meeting in Kanyakumari on Thursday.

NAGERCOIL: Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam founder Vijayakant on Thursday announced a list of nine candidates for the Lok Sabha election and reiterated that his party would not have alliance with any other party.

The candidates are K. Pandia Rajan (Virudhunagar), S. Austin (Kanyakumari), P. Muthuvelraj (Dindigul), S. Michael Rayappan (Tirunelveli), Alagapuram R. Mohanraj (Salem), A.M.G. Vijayakumar (Tiruchi), R.M. Muthulakshmi (Madurai), N.C. Santhanam (Theni), and N. Maheswaran (Namakkal).

Campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls in Kanyakumari district on Thursday, he said neither the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam nor the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had done anything for the welfare of the middle class, the poor and the downtrodden. These parties merely promoted the welfare of their own family members or friends and gave hardship to the people. The prices of essential commodities were skyrocketing. “If I raise this issue at public meetings, unidentified persons threaten me over phone,” he said.

He said the DMK and the AIADMK did nothing for the benefit of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka other than declaring themselves as the champions of the cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The DMK, a member of UPA, failed to mount pressure on the Centre to take immediate steps to stop the killing of innocent Tamils in the island nation. The younger generation was with the DMDK and they wanted a change at the Centre and in the State.

Mr. Vijayakant said the Congress was in a sorry state in north India and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad had allotted only three seats to this national party. This proved beyond doubt that without the help of regional parties, the Congress or the BJP or the Third Front would not be able to form the government at the Centre.

Mr. Vijayakant began his campaign at Kaliyakkavilai on the Tamil Nadu–Kerala border and addressed wayside meetings at Puthukadai, Painkulam, Thengapattinam, Thuckalay, Kottaram, Eadalakudi and Nagercoil.


DMDK's fourth list out

NT Bureau | Mon, 30 Mar, 2009,04:01 PM
The DMDK today announced its fourth list of candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in which contestants for seats including Central Chennai, Puducherry and Thiruvallur were named.

According to a press release from party president Vijayakanth, the candidates were R Suresh (Tiruvallur), V V Ramakrishnan (Central Chennai), Thamizhvendhan (Kanchipuram), M C Damodaran (Cuddalore), S Selvaraj (Nilgris), R Pandian (Coimbatore), Sasikumar (Chidambaram), G K Pandian (Mayiladuthurai), Muthukumar (Nagapattinam) and K A U Asana (Puducherry).

Source: newstodaynet.com

Vijayakanth blasts DMK and AIADMK

Madurai, Mar 30: DMDK leader Vijayakanth has alleged that M Karunanidhi and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa cheated people during their rule. Addressing election meetings in Ramanathapuram district he said Karunanidhi had claimed that he was Chief Minister for five terms and Jayalalithaa said that she was Chief minister for two terms. He asked the people "tell me what both of them have done for you?" "There is no change in the policy of DMDK to have alliance with only God and the People.You should make DMDK voice reverberate in the Parliament", he said. - Agencies

Source: news.chennaionline.com

Vijayakanth, a force to reckon with in TN politics

28 Mar 2009, 0416 hrs IST

Assisting his father in running the family rice mill in a dusty street in Madurai town in

southern Tamil Nadu, young Vijayaraj, a crazy fan
of matinee idol MGR, preferred to go
to watch MGR, rather than listen to his real teachers at school. The youth with unkempt hair relished re-enacting film scenes to his friends, but never dreamt of making it big in the Tamil film industry.

Vijayaraj, a school dropout, was a star among his friends due to his philanthropic nature. He was also known to be humane and used to freely mingle with workers in his rice mill and even share his food with them. Even when young, Vijayaraj juggled his time between managing the mill and pursuing his passion for movies.

A Madurai-based film distributor who was planning to make movies took him to Chennai, the destination of all starry-eyed youths, in 1976. However, the dream factory did not embrace the dark, 24-year-old with hardy, unsophisticated looks.

Seen as another actor in the Rajnikanth mould, Vijayaraj was cast alongside the emerging superstar in En Kelvikku Enna Pathil (What is the answer to my question), but was dumped. Many refused to act with him and big banner film-makers did not come forward to do movies with him. Fortune finally favoured him after he was rechristened Vijayakanth and got to play the protagonist in Inikkum Ilamai (Sweet Youth) in 1979.

Not one to look back after that, he went on to feature in several hits and became one of the top heroes in Tamil, acting in more than 150 films. He won the sobriquet captain after his blockbuster movie Captain Prabhakaran.

Before launching a political party in 2005, Vijayakanth raised his stakes among public by distributing assistance to poor through his fan clubs. Sensing that sections of the public may be disillusioned with the DMK and the AIADMK, Vijayakanth has positioned himself as an alternative to the Dravidian majors.

When his marriage hall was demolished by the NHAI, to make way for a grade separator at a key junction in Chennai, he accused the DMK, which holds the Union road transport ministry, of trying to scare him away from politics. His label as Black MGR did not go well with AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, who accused him of trying to claim the MGR legacy. Once she also alleged that he came drunk to the state Assembly.

His Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) contested the Assembly election in May 2006 on its own, fielding candidates in 232 of the 234 constituencies and polling 8.33% of votes. It thus established itself as a party to reckon with. Though the Congress and AIADMK made intense efforts to bring him to their folds for the May 13 Lok Sabha polls, the Captain decided to fight on his own.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tamil heavyweights woo a wavering Vijaykanth

Tamil heavyweights woo a wavering Vijaykanth
With an 8% vote share in 2006, the actor is likely to be a spoilsport for DMK-Congress and AIADMK

Chennai: Tamil Nadu’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), being wooed by all major political parties in the state as they race to form alliances, could emerge as the classic spoiler, analysts said.
Formed by cine star Vijaykanth Naidu, DMDK contested the 2006 state assembly elections and managed to corner 8.33% of the votes. It also won from a lone seat in Virudanagar, which Vijaykanth contested.
The Democratic Progressive Alliance, which swept the polls in the last general election in 2004 and includes the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Congress party, is openly wooing Vijaykanth, especially after the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a party with strong support from the Vanniyar community, withdrew from the formation.
Tamil Nadu sends 39 members to the Lok Sabha, elections for which have been scheduled in phases from 16 April-13 May.
“Congress and DMK leaders have started feeling the fear of anti-incumbency because of reasons like inflation. Vijaykanth is expected to bring anywhere between 5% and 10% votes,” says Cho S. Ramaswamy, political analyst and editor of Thughlak magazine. “He’ll be a spoiler. He will lose money in all constituencies but he will be an effective spoiler.”
DMK’s traditional rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has, however, been more cautious in approaching Vijaykanth, perhaps because the actor projects himself as Karuppu MGR (black MGR), associating himself with the late M.G. Ramachandran, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister and superstar who founded AIADMK, now led by J. Jayalalithaa.
Kingmaker? Actor-turned-politician Vijaykanth.
“In 2006 assembly elections, he (Vijaykanth) crossed the 8% threshold (in votes cast), which is why he gains importance in the coming elections,” says Krishna Anand, another Chennai-based political commentator. “But this 8% was probably that section of people who did not want to vote for either DMK or AIADMK.”
Anand says DMDK’s main appeal is to the younger generation, aged 20-23 years, who don’t want to be identified with the formations led by either DMK or AIADMK.
DMDK’s role of being a spolier that can decide which alliance wins makes Vijaykanth valuable. For now, the party is playing safe. “We will decide in the next three-four days,” said L.K. Sudheesh, DMDK spokesperson and Vijaykanth’s brother-in-law, when asked which party it will align with. The actor has hinted in public meetings that DMDK might contest on its own.
Anand says the 2011 state assembly polls is the real DMDK target, as Vijaykanth aspires to become chief minister. He adds that the party might lose its 8% vote share if it aligns with either of the two alliances.
“Especially those who belong to the middle class might not want to vote for DMDK if he aligns with either of the parties. So, the 8% factor has to be taken in with that kind of a qualification,” Anand says.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cong likely to rope in DMDK in Tamil Nadu

Cong likely to rope in DMDK in Tamil Nadu
Published on Tue, Mar 10, 2009

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President KV Thangkabalu on Monday hinted that the Congress was trying to rope in actor Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokuku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) into the Congress-DMK alliance for Lok Sabha elections.

Thangkabalu said senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad, who visited Tamil Nadu recently, had appealed that all newly formed parties should join the Congress alliance and this would apply to Vijayakanth's nascent DMDK also.

On Congress leader and Union Minister GK Vasan's remarks that there would soon be good news about Vijayakanth joining the Congress alliance, Thangkabalu said, ''it is good if there is a good news''.

Asked whether the Congress was waiting for Vijayakanth's decision on alliance, he said, ''we are yet to talk about the alliance''.

On Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)'s stand, Thangkabalu said the party is still with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre.

He refused to be drawn into the controversy, when asked whether the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), led by Thol Thirumavalavan would remain in the Congress-DMK alliance.

Thangkabalu flayed AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa for accusing the Centre in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and for adopting a double standard.


Vijayakanth is welcome, PMK mum: MK

Vijayakanth is welcome, PMK mum: MK
First Published : 14 Mar 2009 02:58:00 AM IST

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday invited actor Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) to join the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA), while saying that the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) had not contacted him on the alliance issue so far.

On the continuance of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) in DPA, Karunanidhi evaded a direct reply saying it would be known in the coming days as the talks on seat-sharing between the DMK and Congress progressed.

Asked to comment on the Congress remark that there would be “good news” from the DMDK, Karunanidhi said: “We will welcome good news from any quarters at any time.” But when questioned whether there was any information from the PMK, he said: “They have not contacted me so far.” Karunanidhi was addressing a press conference at the Secretariat after a gap of around 40 days.

Asked about the Congress statement that they would not allow the VCK to be part of their alliance and VCK’s counter that the issue should be clarified by the DMK chief, who heads the DPA, Karunanidhi said: “The Congress and DMK have just initiated talks on alliance...in the forthcoming developments, your [the media] wishes may get fulfilled or may not”.

There is speculation that the delay in the PMK clinching a deal with either of the two fronts led by the AIADMK and the DMK hinged on the allocation of seats to the party.

Whether the ever-oscillating Vijayakanth will reciprocate the positive signal sent by Karunanidhi will be known in the next few days as the Congress continues its efforts to rope him in.

Source: www.expressbuzz.com

Vijayakanth does a double role ahead of polls

CHENNAI: While every politician in the state is frantically plotting poll strategies and

wooing allies, DMDK head Vijayakanth is busy
shooting and giving final touches to
'Mariyadhai', his latest film which is expected to hit the screens even as he hits the campaign trail.

Unlike other parties that hire star campaigners, the actor-turned-politician will be banking on his performance in 'Mariyadhai', a family entertainer, and 'Engal Asan', another film with a message for the masses, to swing the vote in his favour. The two films are scheduled to be released before the May 13 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu.

In 'Engal Aasan' (Our Mentor), due for release on March 13, Vijayakanth plays the role of a bank manager who educates rural people about using the bank's resources to improve their lives.

For Vijayakanth, the line between real and reel life tends to be blurred. It was the success of 'Ramana', directed by A S Murugadoss of 'Ghajini' fame, that inspired him to enter politics. In the film, Vijayakanth plays the lead role of a lone hero crusading against corruption.

He formed Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam in 2005, but was not taken seriously by most of the established political parties. Parties such as the PMK and VCK, which oppose the entry of actors into politics, were openly dismissive of his political ambitions. Today however, after the DMDK's good showing in the 2006 assembly polls, his party is one of the most sought after both by the DMK and AIADMK. Contesting on its own in 232 of 234 seats, the DMDK polled an impressive 8.33% votes then.

Vijayakanth, after an initial call for boycott of the Lok Sabha elections which found no takers, is working hard to complete 'Mariyadhai', in which he plays the double role of father and son. The film is slated for an early April release.

DMDK sources said the Captain, a nickname taken from one of his popular films 'Captain Prabhakharan', has not even held discussions within the party on strategies for Lok Sabha elections. He believes there is still plenty of time and is therefore devoting time to his films. While the Congress is said to be actively wooing him, the AIADMK camp too is not averse to a tie-up with the actor, who projected himself as 'black MGR' during the 2006 assembly election to erode the AIADMK's vote base.

Whether his latest films will give the much-needed political boost for the fledgling DMDK in a crucial election is still a question mark. Most of his films after 'Ramana' fared poorly in the box office and failed to raise his stature among masses as the "crusader against evil forces".


BJP tries to woo Vijayakant's DMDK

Chennai (PTI): Amid intense efforts by Congress to bring Vijayakant's DMDK into DMK-led front in Tamil Nadu, BJP has also held discussions on a possible tie-up with the actor-turned-politician for the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP, which is without any allies in the state so far, has held "some preliminary talks" with DMDK, BJP state president L Ganesan told reporters here.

Mr. Ganesan, however, declined to attach much importance to the talks with the party, which polled eight per cent of the votes in the 2006 Assembly elections and is perceived to be a significant player in the Parliamentary polls.

The state politics, of late, has already seen the two major regional party DMK and AIADMK becoming part of UPA the newly made third front respectively.

Congress has openly expressed its desire that DMDK should be part of the DMK-led front and reportedly stepped up efforts to woo Vijayakant's party. But, Tamil Nadu CM and DMK chief M Karunanidhi had denied having extended any invitation to the DMDK and blamed a section of media for such reports.

Mr. Ganesan said DMDK could retain its 'identity' as a party opposed to the two Dravidian parties if it aligned with BJP.

"DMDK will lose its identity by aligning with either of the (Dravidian) parties, but can retain it by aligning with BJP," he said.

Mr. Ganesan said parleys were also held with the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK), led by actor R Sarathkumar.


DMDK to go it alone in LS polls

DMDK to go it alone in LS polls
Express News Service
First Published : 23 Mar 2009 02:24:00

KANCHEEPURAM: Starting his Lok Sabha campaign ahead of other leaders in Tamil Nadu, DMDK president Vijayakanth on Sunday ruled out an alliance with any of the major parties. However, he kept up an element of mystery, declaring that he would identify candidates whom his supporters would back.

Breaking his silence on alliance possibilities, the actor-turned politician asked his supporters at Pillayarpalayam, from where he launched his campaign, “Shall I forge an alliance with the DMK?” When there was loud response in the negative, he asked if he should clinch a deal with the AIADMK. The response again was a resounding ‘No’. “Then, you must vote for the candidate identified by me to bring about overall change,” he said.

Accusing the DMK, AIADMK and Congress of betraying Tamils for over four decades, he said, “Fishermen from the State are being mercilessly killed mid-sea. Sri Lankan Tamils are ruthlessly murdered everyday in the island nation. Moreover, there is no safety for our youth employed in the UAE or Malaysia.” He said the DMK had been fooling voters with freebies. “They have not taken any measures to bring down unemployment or to find a solution to the Mullaperiyar, Cauvery and Palar issues.”

Source: www.expressbuzz.com

Captain Vijayakanth kicks off campaign trail

Captain Vijayakanth kicks off campaign trail
22 Mar 2009, 2045 hrs IST

CHENNAI: After a week of anticipation that Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam

(DMDK) lead by actor turned politician 'captain' Vijayakanth
would announce its
alliance for the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday, Tamil Nadu was faced with an anti-climax: the party, instead, became the first one in the state to launch its election campaign.

What's more Vijayakanth, who has been keen on distancing his party and politics from the traditional and succesful dravidian politics in the state, hinted that his alliance would be only with the public.

"Do I look like I have an alliance with any other party for the sake of seat sharing?" he asked the crowds at Kancheepuram district, where the campaign trail began. "My alliance has always been with the people and God." The actor fashions a pan-TN charismatic appeal, as opposed to other parties here which have specific regional strongholds. Addressing voters from the streets encircling the temple at Kancheepuram, he instructed them to vote for the candidate whom he points out.

His brand of politics has always been about leveraging his familiarity and incorrupt image with voters. He reiterated his criticism on Tamil political parties of having been inefficient in handling the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, but remained non-committal on alliances with national parties, particularly the Congress. The party, rather close knit with Vijayakanth's wife Premalatha, her brother Sudheesh and party president Panruti Ramachandran playing key roles, was said to have been at Delhi last week, in talk with congress on seat sharing.

The party had also stressed yesterday that only with the help of the centre could the issues concerning TN like the Cauvery river water dispute and the Sri Lankan Tamils' plight be solved. In the recent past, its agenda had centred around developmental issues like power cuts in the state, road transport, equal education opportunities and job creation.


Vijaykanth says no poll alliance, DMDK on its own

Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:58

New Delhi: While other parties may be busy forming or undoing alliances, Tamil Nadu’s DMDK Chief Vijayakanth has decided to contest the elections all alone.

Despite efforts made by both Congress and the AIDMK, Vijayakanth has said no to allies.

The Congress party was trying to woo Vijayakanth into their alliance with the DMK.

Reports suggest that even AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa wanted Vijayakanth on her side despite their rivalry.

After weeks and months of deliberation, Vijayakanth seems to have decided to go it alone once again.

“Should I go with the DMK, or the AIDMK or with the congress? If you don't want me to go with anyone, will you vote for the candidate I point out to?” asked the actor-politician of his vote bank.

Vijaykanth’s party contested the last assembly elections all alone and won a voteshare of 8.3 per cent.

It emerged as the fourth largest force in Tamil Nadu after DMK, AIDMK and the Congress. But in those elections, he came back with only one MLA. Several political observers have pointed out that Vijaykanth's party will have to convert its votes into seats for its own political survival and that’s exactly why the actor has been looking for an ally.

“I will not leave this state until I make all you people live happily,” he promised his people.

Vijayakanth has started his election campaign while all the political parties in Tamil Nadu are still guessing which way the DMK would go.


Vijayakanth interviews DMDK aspirants

Vijayakanth interviews DMDK aspirants
24 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST

CHENNAI: A day after declaring his party's alliance was "only with the people and god'',

actor Vijayakanth interviewed nearly 350 aspirants
for his DMDK party's Lok Saba

In the backdrop of speculations that the Congress was still wooing him, Vijayakanth ploughed through a mound of over 2,000 applications for Lok Sabha tickets on Monday.

He questioned them about their popularity in their home districts, found out how much money they would be able to spend if they were contesting and tested their loyalties with some choice queries. Some of the questions he posed to the candidates included how popular they were in their region, how much money they would be able to spend and whether they would abide by whatever decision the party takes.

The actor personally interviewed about 350 applicants at his party headquarters in the city, and promised to meet all 2,067 cadres who submitted their applications over the next two days, giving the impression that the DMDK would be contesting on its own and fielding candidates in several constituencies for the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu.

Kicking off his party's roadshow on Sunday, apparently said to be a token campaign on an auspicious day, Vijayakanth gave enough indication that his party would neither go with the ruling DMK nor the AIADMK.

However, his roadside speeches came with a rider. The actor announced that he would clear his stand on March 26.


DMDK will contest alone in LS poll: Vijayakanth

VIJAYAKANTH, THE President of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) party in Tamil Nadu ruled out the possibility of any alliance with any major parties in the coming Lok Sabha election on Sunday (March 23).

Vijayakanth also started the election campaign of his party earlier than any other party in Tamil Nadu.

In a meeting at Pillayarpalayam, the actor-turned politician commenced his electoral campaign. In a bid to bring radical change in Tamil Nadu, Vijayakanth urged people to cast votes to his party men in the coming Lok Sabha election.
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Vijayakanth accused the DMK, AIADMK and Congress of betraying Tamils for over four decades. Citing the killing of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, he declared that while the Lankan armed forces are mercilessly killing their Tamil brothers in the island nation, the Congress led UPA government at the Centre remains reluctant. He also stated that Tamil fishermen are being killed in mid-sea by the armed forces of the neighbouring country.

He also said that the Tamil youth working in the UAE or Malaysia do not get proper security and face humiliation. He also accused the ruling DMK and chief minister M Karunanidhi for not solving major issues like unemployment, agriculture and the Mullaperiyar, Cauvery and Palar issues.

DMDK was formed on September 14, 2005 at Madurai. The headquarters of the party is located at Koyambedu, Chennai.

Source: www.merinews.com

Captain Vijaykanth will Become the Chief Minister of TAMIL NADU?