Former Union Minister and TN Assembly Speaker Sedapatti R Muthiah passes away

Fondly known as Sedapattiar, he entered politics through the student wing of the DMK, and later shifted to the AIADMK when the party was founded. He later switched back to DMK after being expelled from AIADMK.
Sedapatti R Muthaiah in a white shirt
Sedapatti R Muthaiah in a white shirt
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Former Union Minister and Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker Sedapatti R Muthiah passed away at the age of 77 in a private hospital in Chennai on Wednesday, September 21. Muthiah was a senior leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and was the second in command of the party till 1998. He is survived by his wife Sakunthala and four children.

Fondly known as Sedapattiar, the senior leader entered politics through the student wing of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) after completing his Masters degree in Mathematics, and emerged as a student leader after participating in anti-Hindi agitations in the Madurai region. He eventually joined the AIADMK when former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, founded the new party in 1977, as the matinee idol was highly popular in the Madurai region.

Muthiah contested the Assembly seat in 1977 from the Sedapatti constituency and went on to win four times from the same seat — in the years 1977, 1980, 1984 and 1991. He became the Speaker of the Assembly in 1991 and continued in office till 1996, during the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s period.

Sedapattiar later became an MP from the Lok Sabha constituency of Periyakulam in Theni twice, in 1989 and 1998. He also became a Union Minister for Surface Transport in the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He was subsequently expelled from the AIADMK by Jayalalithaa, when he forgot to cast his vote during the no-confidence motion moved against the Vajpayee government in 1999, according to reports. Muthiah kept away from politics for some time, but later joined the DMK in 2008 and went on to become a member of the party's electoral wing.

(With IANS inputs)

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