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Former Tamil Nadu speaker PH Pandian passes away at 74

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Chennai, Jan 04: AIADMK leader and former Speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly Paul Hector Pandian passed away at a private hospital in on Saturday. He was 74.

Pandian served as the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 1985 to 1989.

PH Pandian

He was one of the only two candidates elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislature from the Janaki Ramachandran Faction of AIADMK in 1989 when he won the Cheranmahadevi seat. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tirunelveli Parliamentary constituency in 1999.

He was the organising secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam which was led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

He had in 1987 in connection with a proceeding against a Tamil magazine, said the Assembly has "sky-high powers" and that phrase continues to be in currency still during debates linked to powers of the Assembly and the Speaker.

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    A noted advocate, he had appeared in several sensational criminal cases and matters involving constitutional importance. Pandian's funeral will take place on Sunday.

    His son, Paul Manoj Pandian, was also elected an MLA for AIADMK in 2001 from Cheranmahadevi, the same constituency represented by P H Pandian in 1989.

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    Pandian was one of the two senior AIADMK leaders who had not supported the ascension of Sasikala Natarajan within the party after the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016.

    He publicly took a stand against former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's aide V K Sasikala after the death of the late party supremo in December 2016.

    Raising suspicions over the circumstances surrounding the death of Jayalalithaa, he had thrown his weight behind O Panneerselvam.

    His wife, Cynthia Pandian, a noted educationist and former vice-chancellor of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University at Tirunelveli predeceased him.

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