From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi: Political leaders express shock over Vijayakanth's death!

From veteran actors to the general public, millions of people across Tamil Nadu have been enduring what has become a sobering and terrific end of 2023 as the year has ended an era of an actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth, whom the people fondly call as 'Captain'. The people are mourning the loss of an iconic leader, who passed away at the age of 71 on Thursday - December 28 in Chennai due to age-related ailments. 

Vijayakanth has been a household name across the state as he has touched millions of lives through his journey as an actor and as a politician. The love he has earned has been visible through the gathering of a sea of people to pay last respects. Vijayakanth was hospitalized at MIOT Hospitals in Chennai and he was getting treated for pneumonia and Covid infection and was kept in a lifesaving support. 

Vijayakanth's battle for survival has come to an end during the morning hours of Thursday as the hospital officially announced that he has breathed his last despite the best efforts from the medical team to save him. From the hospital, his body was taken to his residence in Saligramam, Chennai where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin paid his last respects. 

After a brief stop at his residence, Vijayakanth's body was taken to his political party DMDK's headquarters in Koyambedu, Chennai for public to pay homage. The Chief Minister announced that state funeral will be accorded to Vijayakanth and the party has said the last rites will be held at 4.45 pm on Friday - December 29. As his demise broken millions of hearts across the state, the sentiment remains akin nationally. 

Several national leaders have joined the Tamil Nadu people to pay tribute to Vijayakanth and to offer condolences to the bereaving family. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first-in-line national leaders to express his shock over Vijayakanth's demise and he noted that as a political leader, Vijayakanth was deeply committed to public service, leaving a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu's political landscape. 

Taking to social media, Prime Minister Modi wrote, "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. 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." 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to social media and wrote, "Deeply saddened by the demise of DMDK founder, Thiru Vijayakanth ji. His contributions to cinema and politics have left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans during this difficult time." In his tribute note, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote, "We are deeply saddened by the passing away of DMDK Founder and President, Captain Vijayakanth. A prolific actor and a leader who was staunchly admired by the people, his contribution to the social and political empowerment of Tamil Nadu, shall always be remembered. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, admirers and followers." 

Veteran BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to social media and wrote, "Deeply saddened to learn about the passing of DMDK leader and respected film veteran Vijayakanth Ji. Affectionately referred to as the captain, Vijaykanth Ji inspired patriotism among people both through his onscreen and offscreen roles. My heartfelt condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti Shanti."  BJP national chief JP Nadda said Vijayakanth will be remembered for his sincere commitment and dedication towards the betterment of people's lives. 

"Deeply pained by the passing away of senior political leader and former actor Thiru Vijayakanth Ji.   He was highly passionate about the craft of filmmaking as well as public service, and he made a significant mark in these fields. He will be remembered for his sincere commitment and dedication towards the betterment of people's lives.   My heartfelt condolences to his family members and followers in this hour of grief. Om Shanti", Nadda wrote. 

Taking to social media, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi wrote, "Deeply pained by the passing away of accomplished actor, dedicated leader, and great humanitarian Thiru. Vijayakanth. His outstanding contributions to cinema, politics, and service to society will ever be remembered. My prayers are with his family and countless followers. Om Shanti!" Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has also extended her tribute and condolences. 

Tamil Nadu's Opposition leader Edappadi Palaniswami, Viduthulai Chiruthaigal Katchi chief Thol Thirumavalavan, Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai, and a flock of state political leaders remembered Vijayakanth and hailed his unparallelled contributions to public life. The visuals around Koyambedu display heavy traffic as hundreds of people are pouring in from across the state to the party's headquarters to pay their last respects to a leader who will forever remain as their beloved Captain.