Veteran CPI chief D Pandian no extra; TN leaders condole loss of life

Chennai, February 26

CPI veteran and the party’s former state secretary D Pandian died here on Friday following illness, the party said.

The 88-year-old former MP was not keeping well and had been admitted to a government hospital where he breathed his last Friday.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwailal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, DMK president MK Stalin and others condoled his death.

In his six decade-long political career, Pandian was an active trade union leader among others and had participated in Railway and port union activities, CPI state secretary R Mutharasan said in a party release.

He represented the then North Madras Lok Sabha segment in 1989 and 1991.

He was injured in the bomb blast at an election rally at Sriperumbudur near here in 1991 in which former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed and lived with shrapnels throughout his life, Mutharasan said.

Pandian headed the party’s state unit from 2005 to 2015 and is hailed as a good orator while he had also written over 30 books and penned a number of articles in the party mouthpiece ‘Jakansakthi.’

He was in the forefront on issues like eradication of superstition, promoting science and social justice.

He will be laid to rest near Usilampatti in Madurai on Saturday.

In his condolence message, Purohit said “with a political span covering nearly many decades his contribution to the development of Tamil Nadu will always remain unforgettable.

“His demise is an irreparable loss to the people of Tamil Nadu and particularly to the Communist Party of India,” he said.

Palaniswami said Pandian was a hard worker and known to be an affable man.

“There is no doubt the life and experiences of brother Pandian shall be a lesson to the younger generation,” he said in a statement.

Stalin expressed shock over the veteran Communist leader’s death.

“He bravely faced any challenge and was a friend of the working class,” Stalin said, while hailing the multi- faceted leader.

MDMK founder Vaiko, CPI (M)state secretary K Balakrishnan, Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani, BJP state President L Murugan, DMDK founder Vijayakant and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan condoled Pandian’s death. —PTI

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