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Vijaykanth to take the plunge tomorrow

S. Vijay Kumar

Will reveal his party's name, ideology at one-day conference to be held in Madurai



STAGE SET: Arrangements under way for the first political conference actor Vijaykanth will be holding in Madurai on Monday. — Photo: S. James

MADURAI: The stage is set for the political debut of film star Vijaykanth, who will formally launch his party here on September 14. With expectations running high ahead of the Assembly elections, the actor, who will turn politician, maintained that he was not for an alliance with any party though voluntary support was welcome.

A huge `pandal' has been erected at Thoppur, venue of the conference on the city outskirts, with the paraphernalia of a political conference. While party flags flutter along roads leading to the venue, banners and hoardings have been erected in many parts of Madurai and suburbs.

Mr. Vijaykanth will reveal the name of the party and its ideology early on Wednesday before an estimated crowd of over one lakh plus people from all over the State.

Not for alliance

"I do not want to enter into any alliance. We intend to establish a unique force that will set new trends in politics. Those willing to follow our ideological path are always welcome," says the 54-year-old `Captain.'

Despite having the image of leaders like Periyar, Anna and MGR in the background, Mr. Vijaykanth claims that his party would not emerge as another Dravidian force. "We will have a distinct identity carved out of a combination of good morals drawn from various movements."

Some of the issues the party would focus on in future include eradication of poverty, unemployment and caste/communal conflicts in the State. VIPs invited for the conference include Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi and a galaxy of artists from the film industry. After launching the party, the actor plans to tour the State.

Will he quit working in films? No, he says, adding that concentration in politics will, however, bring down the number of films.

In a letter sent to all functionaries, Mr. Vijaykanth has listed dos and don'ts to enable a smooth and incident-free conduct of the one-day conference. An entry fee of Rs. 5 would be charged from the participants.

Media glare

The actor in him, with an experience of over 25 years, has learnt quite a lot about how to remain in the media glare and public mind.

The first political conference is to be webcast live on his own website (www.vijayakant.com) from 7 a.m.

On Monday, the actor let out a statement, characteristic of the roles he dons on screen - full of passionate sentences. Seeking to strike a different note from many other party leaders, Vijayakant addressed his fans, members of the public, and particularly mentioned `men and women' students, members of the film fraternity, mediapersons and police personnel.

He thanked all these sections for standing by him during his 25-year film career and called for their continued support for his future political career.

Wednesday will be a busy day for his new movement, right from 7-30 a.m. when the actor will hoist the party flag and by 9 a.m. he is announcing the name of his new political outfit.

A series of cultural events would follow and by 6 p.m. that day, Vijayakant is expected to make his first major political speech.

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