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Actor Vijay targets DMK over rising drug culture in Tamil Nadu

Vijay’s TVK will face its debut election in 2026, which is likely to witness a multi-cornered fight with the ruling DMK, AIADMK, and BJP stitching their own alliances and Naam Tamizhar Katchi continuing to contest elections on its own.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 13:28 IST

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Chennai: In his first public interaction after launching his political party in February, popular Tamil actor-politician Vijay on Friday reached out to first-time voters by making them taking a pledge against using drugs even as he criticised the DMK dispensation of failing to control the sale and usage of drugs in Tamil Nadu. 

Speaking at an event to felicitate district toppers in 10th and 12th board exams, Vijay also said Tamil Nadu needs "good leaders" not just in politics but in every sector, in what appeared as a criticism of the existing political parties.

“Never indulge in bad habits. Don’t lose your identity at any cost. The reason I say this is because of the increase in consumption of drugs in Tamil Nadu, especially among youngsters. I am worried about this trend both as a parent and as the leader of a political party,” Vijay told the students. 

“It is the job of the government to stop drugs. But I have not come here to point out that they (government) have failed in their duty. It is not the right platform. More than the government, it is we who should take care of ourselves. We should have control over our lives,” he said and asked the students to take a pledge “say no to temporary pleasures.. say no to drugs.”

This is the second consecutive year that Vijay, who announced the launch of Tamizhaga Vetri Kazhagam in February this year, is honouring district toppers and interacting with them. In 2023, he had exhorted students not to receive bribes for votes and counsel their parents to not “sell their votes.”

Vijay’s TVK will face its debut election in 2026, which is likely to witness a multi-cornered fight with the ruling DMK, AIADMK, and BJP stitching their own alliances and Naam Tamizhar Katchi continuing to contest elections on its own. 

The actor, in his brief speech, exhorted students to make politics also a “preferable career” for students in the future while stressing the need to create more leaders in every sector. “More than everything, we need good leaders in Tamil Nadu. Not just in politics, but in every field. Only if we have good leaders in every field, can we excel as a state. We should work towards creating more leaders,” Vijay said. 

The 50-year-old actor, who is one of the highest-paid actors in the country and commands a huge fan base, has already announced that his party won’t contest any polls till 2026. Vijay wants to make use of the next two years to prepare his fans and supporters battle-ready for 2026, strengthen the party infrastructure, and elect office-bearers in a “democratic manner.”

 The announcement by Vijay in February wasn’t surprising as the actor was preparing for his political outing for the past few months by constituting various wings for his Vijay Makkal Iyakkam, his fan club. The VMI already has 25 wings and all of them were reactivated recently, while the actor also launched an IT wing and advocates wing to face the political challenge. 

Vijay also joins the long list of actors who have joined politics in Tamil Nadu starting from M G Ramachandran to J Jayalalithaa to Sivaji Ganesan to Vijayakanth, and Kamal Haasan. 

While the first two made it big in politics like in the silver screen, the last three couldn’t register much success, though Vijayakanth briefly altered the bipolar politics in the state. Superstar Rajinikanth didn’t enter politics citing his ill-health after promising to launch a party and contest the 2021 elections. 

Vijay’s political plunge is gutsy as no actor could recreate the MGR magic in about four decades in a state where over 75 per cent of the vote share is controlled by DMK and AIADMK, the Dravidian majors who have been ruling the state alternatively since 1967. 

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Published 28 June 2024, 13:28 IST

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