Chennai, May 6 : Mr Dalit Ezhilmalai, one of the Founding members of PMK and former Union Minister in the A B Vajpayee Cabinet, died here this morning following a massive heart attack. He was 74. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. He died at his residence at Irumbedu near Madurantakam in Chengalpattu district where the last rites will be performed later today,” sources said.
Mr Ezhilamali was with the PMK initially and was the first General Secretary of the party in 1989 when it was founded by Dr S Ramadoss. He also became the first PMK MP to become the Union Minister, when he was allotted the portfolio of Minister of State for Health (Independent charge) in the 1998-99 Vajpayee Cabinet after he was first elected to the 12th Lok Sabha from the Chidambaram (Reserved) in 1998. After he was denied ticket by the PMK in the next polls, he joined the AIADMK and was elected to the Lok Sabha for a second term--this time from Trichy--in the 2001 bye-elections. As an army officer, Ezhilmalai took part in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and was a recipient of the President's Sainik Seva Medal for meritorious service in the Army.
Ruling AIADMK Coordinator and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, PMK Founder Dr S Ramadoss and Opposition DMK President M K Stalin condoled the death of Ezhilmalai. In a joint statement here, Mr Palaniswami and Mr Panneerselvam expressed shock over the death of Mr Ezhilmalai, who had been the former Organising Secretary of the AIADMK and had also served as the Union Minister.
They expressed anguish and grief over his death and offered their condolences to the bereaved family members. Dr Ramadoss recalled the services rendered by him right from the Founding days of the party. In a statement, he also expressed shock and grief over his death and offered his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. Mr Stalin, in his message, expressed sorrow over his death and said Mr Ezhilmalai had served as the political voice of the oppressed class and offered his condolences to the bereaved family. (UNI)