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DMDK morphs into another Dravidian political party with dynastic tendencies

In a recent development, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founded by Tamil superstar Vijayakant, has now been inherited by his wife Premallatha Vijayakanth and son Vijaya Prabhakaran. The DMDK is now an alliance partner of the AIADMK and is contesting on five seats in Tamil Nadu, with the Virudhunagar seat becoming a prestigious fight.

Vijayakant founded the DMDK on September 14, 2005, in Madurai and remained the party’s leader until December 14, 2023. He appointed his wife Premallatha as the party general secretary in December 2023, shifting the leadership within the family. His son, Vijaya Prabhakaran, is now contesting in a high-profile seat as an alliance partner of the AIADMK against NDA candidate and film star Radhikaa Sarathkumar in Virudhunagar.

The DMDK was the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu from May 27, 2011, to February 21, 2016, winning 29 out of the 40 seats it contested. Despite claiming Populism, Secularism, Dravidianism, and Social Democracy as its ideology, the party has faced criticism for engaging in dynasty politics and handing over leadership within the family.

Political analyst R. Sakthivel noted that the DMDK has transformed into a dynastic party under Premallatha’s leadership, despite initially being founded on specific ideals. With clear examples like Premallatha becoming the general secretary and Vijaya Prabhakaran contesting from a significant seat, the party’s ideology has taken a backseat to family control, aligning it with other Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu.


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