Veteran DMK leader Anbazhagan passes away
Chennai, Mar 08: Veteran DMK leader K Anbazhagan passed away here on Saturday following a brief illness, the party said.
Anbazhagan (97), the senior most DMK leader and a close friend of late party patriarch M Karunanidhi, was not keeping well for some time due to age-related ailments and was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals on February 24 after his health conditions deteriorated, DMK chief M K Stalin said.
A nine-time MLA, Anbazhagan was the party's general secretary for 43 years. He had been staying away from active politics for some time due to his illness.
In a statement, Stalin said Anbazhagan passed away at 1 am and party flags would fly at half mast for seven days.
All the DMK programmes were postponed for a week, he added.
Stalin had visited the ailing DMK leader when he was hospitalised.
Known as "Perasiriyar" (professor) in the DMK circles, Anbazhagan had served as the Tamil Nadu finance minister and minister of public welfare.
Following the demise of Anbhazhagan, a host of leaders cutting across party lines offered their condolences to the bereaved family.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, Superstar Rajinikanth, actor-politician Kamal Haasan, Congress leaders P Chidambaram, K S Alagiri, VCK leader Thirumavalavan and DMDK Chief Vijayakanth were among those who expressed their condolences.
"I am deeply saddened to learn about the demise of the veteran of the Dravidian movement, former Tamil Nadu minister, scholar politician and DMK general secretary K Anbhazhagan", Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said in a tweet.
"Perasiriyar as called by his admirers was a great orator and a scholar. His widom, his ability to constantly pursue the ideology he believed in and his commitment to the cause of people inspires all," he said.
"I pay my heartfelt condolences to bereaved families members and followers. May his soul rest in peace," he tweeted.
In a statement, Palaniswami said Anbazhagan's demise was a huge loss to the state.
"I extend my deep condolences to his family members and party men in this hour of grief..." the chief minister said.
Speaking to reporters after paying homage to the departed DMK leader here, Actor Rajinikanth said, "I extend my deep condolences to his family members and DMK cadres."
After his demise, Anbazhagan's body was taken to his residence in the city.