AIADMK presidium chairman and former minister of Jayalalithaa cabinet E Madhusudhanan died on Thursday at the age of 80 at a private hospital in Chennai.
Reports said that he was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago for multi-organ dysfunction and his health was improving in between.
On Thursday, there was a sudden deterioration following which, the tall leader of the state politics passed away. His wife Jeeva died in April this year.
Madhusudhanan passed the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination in 1956.
After the establishment of the AIADMK, Madhusudhanan became the convener of the party in north Chennai. He was made the Chennai district secretary in 1987. When the AIADMK captured power for the first time in 1977, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and held the post for seven years.
In March 1984, he was elected to the Legislative Council and remained a member of the Upper House till its abolition in November 1986. Five years later, when the AIADMK captured power under the leadership of Jayalalithaa,Madhusudhanan was elected from the R. K. Nagar constituency and was initially appointed Handlooms Minister. He was later given the portfolios of Animal Husbandry and Food.
In February 2007, he was elected chairperson of the party’s presidium and went on to hold the post for perhaps the longest period.
Within days of the death of incumbent Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in December 2016, he was one among those who demanded that V.K. Sasikala, who had been the former Chief Minister’s aide, take over the affairs of the party as general secretary. Two months later, when the then Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam quit the post and launched a “dharma yudham” against Sasikala, Madhusudananan switched over to his camp.
In March 2017, he, along with Panneerselvam and former legislator, S. Semmalai, petitioned the Election Commission, challenging the election of Sasikala as [interim] general secretary of the party.
When the by-election to the R. K. Nagar constituency was held in December 2017, he was fielded as the AIADMK nominee but lost to T.T.V. Dhinakaran by a margin of about 40,000 votes, an uncommon sight of a candidate fielded by the party in power to lose in a by-election. Later, he blamed former Fisheries Minister, D. Jayakumar, who represented Royapuram (of north Chennai) in the Assembly, for his defeat, but Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam did not take any action against Jayakumar.