Chennai, June 2 : Former Tamil Nadu BJP President and ex-MLA K N Lakshmanan died at his residence in Salem due to age related illness last night. He was 90. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Mr Lakshmanan was recently admitted to a hospital and discharged a few days ago, family members said. Born in Salem on October 20, 1930, he completed schooling at the Gokulnatha Hindu Mahajana school and did his B.A at the Salem Municipal College. He joined the RSS in 1944 and started the Jana Sangh unit in Salem in 1957 along with nine others.
He joined the BJP when the party was founded and was appointed State president between 1984 and 1989. He had held the post again from 1996 to 2000. In 2006, he became a member of the BJP National Council. In the 2001 Assembly polls, Mr Lakshmanan was elected from Mylapore seat in the city as a BJP candidate as part of DMK alliance. Earlier this year, he attempted to take out a rally of BJP cadres in Salem “in honour of Lord Ram” after a controversy erupted over a 1971 procession in Salem in which he alleged the deity was “insulted”.
Police, however, did not allow the BJP cadres to continue the rally. He was a close associate of former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and senior BJP leader L K Advani. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Lakshmanan over telephone and enquired about his health. Mr Modi, Telangana Governor Ms Tamilisai Soundararajan and leaders of various political parties, including DMK President M K Stalin and PMK Founder Dr S Ramadoss condoled the death of Mr Lakshmanan. Mr Modi tweeted 'anguished by the demise of Shri KN Lakshmanan Ji. He was at the forefront of serving the people of Tamil Nadu and expanding the BJP organisation there.' 'His role in the anti-Emergency movement and participation in socio-cultural activities will always be remembered. Om Shanti', Mr Modi said. (UNI)