After Jayalalithaa's death, PH Pandian was one of the first to pledge allegiance to O Panneerselvam who had rebelled against VK Sasikala.

Former TN Speaker and senior AIADMK leader PH Pandian passes away at 74
news Obituary Saturday, January 04, 2020 - 10:47

Paul Hector Pandian, AIADMK leader and former Speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Saturday morning. He was 74-years-old. Pandian, who has been ailing for the last few months, was admitted in the Christian Medical College, Vellore for heart problems in September last year and was undergoing treatment.

PH Pandian who joined AIADMK in 1972 was the Speaker from 1985 to 1987 when MG Ramachandran was the Chief Minister of the State. He continued to serve as the Speaker for two more years until 1989, after the passing of MGR. When AIADMK split after MGR’s death, Pandian sided with his widow Janaki Ramachandran first but patched up with Jayalalithaa later. He went on to become former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's legal advisor between 1996 and 1999, when a number of cases were filed against her.

While he was a four-time MLA, he went on to be elected as Member of Parliament in 1999, from Tirunelveli constituency. PH Pandian had once declared that the Speaker has "sky-high powers".

After Jayalalithaa's death, PH Pandian was one of the first to pledge allegiance to O Panneerselvam who had rebelled against VK Sasikala. Pandian was amongst the senior AIADMK leaders, who was not ready to accept Sasikala's promotion to General Secretary of the party.  

In a much sensational press conference at Chennai then, Pandian and his son Manoj Pandian claimed that Jayalalithaa did not die under natural circumstances. They alleged that Jayalalithaa was suffering from depression and had an argument with someone in Poes Garden, who in turn had poisoned her.

Pandian, born in Thirunelveli, completed his Bachelors in Science and Masters in Arts in the fields of criminology and Forensic science following which he did a law degree from the Madras Law College in Chennai. He was an advocate by profession, practising law in Chennai High Court for 26 years.

His son Paul Manoj Pandian, was member of Rajya Sabha between 2010 and 2016. During the 2001 elections, he was elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly from Cheranmadevi constituency.

Many shared their condolences on Twitter upon hearing the news of his death:

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