CHENNAI: Actor Vijay seems to have used the recent rural local body elections held in nine districts to successfully test the political waters in Tamil Nadu. Candidates of Vijay Makkal Iyakkam (VMI), the actor’s fans welfare association, won 115 of the 169 local body posts they contested, mostly comprising panchayat wards.
In September, just ahead of the local body poll schedule was announced, word went around that the Iyakkam is planning to test the star’s political popularity by getting its members to contest the polls, as done by actor Vijayakant, ahead of him formally launching his own political party, the DMDK in 2005.
But there was no official announcement from actor Vijay, even as the actor moved the court seeking to prevent his father S A Chandrasekharan from initiating political moves on his behalf.
“We officially got his (Vijay) permission to contest and used his photo and Iyakkam flag for the campaign. Significant among the victories is that of Vaanur panchayat, where our candidate N P S Savithri won the village panchayat poll with a handsome majority,” Bussy N Anand, general secretary of VMI told TOI. Of the 2,350 votes polled for the panchayat president post, Savithri bagged 1,257 votes. “Her brother Balamurugan is the office bearer of our Iyakkam. But since the panchayat president post was reserved for women, he got his sister to contest the poll and she won,” Anand added.
“Of the 115 candidates who won, 13 were elected unopposed. About 45-47 are women,” Anand said. The victories were spread across all the nine districts, he added.
“This is a great opportunity to serve the people. We have to utilize it properly to win over the people’s goodwill,” Anand said. Does this portend bigger political ambitions of the star? “I will leave that to the guess of the people and the media,” he added.




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