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People have clearly understood that Modi needs to go: Kanyakumari MP Vijay Vasanth

Updated on: 16 April,2024 05:34 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Krishna Kumar Padmanabhan |

Kanyakumari MP Vijay Vasanth opens up on anti-incumbency, criticism, projects and challenges

People have clearly understood that Modi needs to go: Kanyakumari MP Vijay Vasanth

Vijay Vasanth on a campaign tour of the Christian coastal fishing villages. Pic/Krishnakumar Padmanabhan

Every household in Tamil Nadu would have, at some point in the last five decades, bought some electronic appliance or the other from Vasanth & Co. What Vijay Sales (established in 1967 as a small TV dealership) is to Mumbai, Vasanth & Co (established in 1978 as a consumer electronics store) is to the whole of Tamil Nadu, especially the south.

After joining the Congress, proprietor Vasanth Kumar was elected MLA in 2006 and 2016, before becoming the Kanyakumari MP in 2019. He passed away in August 2020 due to COVID-related complications. In the resulting by-elections, his son, the actor Vijay Vasanth, contested the seat and has held it since. Vasanth, who is facing discontent among constituents, took time off his busy campaign tour of the Christian coastal fishing villages on Monday to answer mid-day’s questions.

How are you going to fight anti-incumbency?
There is no anti-incumbency. People have clearly understood that Modi needs to go. That this NDA government should leave. Otherwise, life will only get more difficult for the people of India. And I sense a lot of love for the INDIA coalition.

Are you sure? Everywhere, people are saying they are not happy with your work.
I agree. But think, 2019 and 2020 were COVID years. I got elected in 2021 in the by-election. There was hardly any time for me to fully execute any project. Those who say I have not done anything should remember that. But even in this short time, I have achieved a few results.

Such as?
I have got the NHAI project going...

But wasn’t that stalled due to litigation?
Yes, but it is cleared now and work will begin in full swing. I have gotten so many rail bridges and underpasses built to ease traffic congestion in the city. Track doubling work is in full swing. We are developing our railway stations. And above all, I have exhausted my allotted MP-LAD fund for constituency work.

How did you win over the Christian community?
See, they are like family, first of all. And they have realised that voting for the ADMK is like voting for the BJP.

How will you woo the Hindu vote, which might go to the BJP?
I don’t discriminate. All the work I have done is equally for everyone. I take everyone together.

How do you respond to nepotism charges?
I don’t want to answer this.

Come on!
Okay, I’ll just say everyone becomes something in life only because of their parents. Some of us join the exact line of work of our parents. What is wrong with this? We see this in law, medicine, and other fields. Only when it is politics, do you people ask these questions. Also, look at it this way. Amit Shah uses his son to control world cricket. You don’t have a problem. I used my father’s goodwill to do good for the people. And it is a problem? Don’t you understand the difference?

Fine. Finally, which is your first love—business, films, or politics?
Business. I grew up more in my father’s offices than at my home. I spent more time with him in godowns, looking at him manage the company, than I ever spent time with him at home. Politics is second, as I have got a penchant for public service from him. Films have taken a back seat. For now, temporarily.

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