Former Tamil Nadu Speaker and Union Minister dies at the age of 77: Condolences pour in!

Former Tamil Nadu Speaker and Union Minister Sedapatti Muthiah passed away on Wednesday - September 21 at the age of 77 in Madurai due to age-related ailments. Muthiah was a prominent political veteran in the state and held various posts in both the top parties of Tamil Nadu, DMK and ADMK. After learning about his demise, several leaders paid tribute and expressed their condolences to his family members. 

Muthiah had a vast political career and was close to the apex leaders in the state. A native of T. Kallupatti in the Madurai district of Tamil Nadu in 1945, Muthiah joined politics as a student leader in DMK in the early days of the Dravidian movement. He participated in the anti-Hindi agitations and when MG Ramachandran (MGR) launched ADMK after parting ways with the DMK, a lot of Muthiah's supporters left DMK and joined ADMK. 

In line with them, Muthiah had also joined the ADMK and according to reports, Muthiah was the first choice of MGR to contest the Dindigul Lok Sabha constituency's byelection, which was the first poll for ADMK since its launch. However, due to various reasons, Maya Thevar contested in ADMK's first poll under the Two Leaves symbol. Muthiah then had a remarkable political opening. 

In 1977, Muthiah won the assembly polls from the Sedapatti constituency and entered the assembly for the first time. He then won from Sedappatti three times in 1980, 1984, and 1991. ADMK formed the government in 1991 under J Jayalalithaa and after Muthiah won the 1991 polls, he was made the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and notably, Muthiah was the second power leader in ADMK until 1998. 

Muthiah had served as an MLA four times and as an MP two times. In national politics, Muthiah was elected to Lok Sabha from the Periyakulam Constituency in 1989 and in 1998. During his tenure as an MP, Muthiah served as the Union Minister for Surface Transport in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Later, Muthiah resigned from the post of Union Minister due to a case in Chennai court. 

In 2006, Muthiah resigned from the ADMK and two years later, he joined DMK and became one of the office bearers of the DMK's Electoral Wing. After the demise of Karunanidhi, Muthiah was not active in politics while his younger son Manimaran is currently the Secretary of Madurai South District, DMK party. Muthiah was getting treated for the past three months in a private hospital in Madurai. 

Amid the treatment, his health deteriorated and he breathed his last on Wednesday at the age of 77. After learning about his demise, several leaders are paying tribute and expressing condolences to the family of the deceased politician.