Former Tamil Nadu MLA and senior leader of the Communist Party of India- Marxist Thangavelu had died of the COVID-19 viral infection on Sunday, becoming one of the political leaders in the state who succumbed to the pandemic after DMK MLA J Anbazhagan and Congress MP H Vasanthakumar.
The CPI-Marxist said the 68-year-old party veteran and trade unionist had been tested positive for the COVID-19 viral infection and was getting treated at a hospital for the past 14 days. He had passed away on the morning hours of Sunday. Thangavelu has been known for his agitations for labor rights in Tamil Nadu. The party stated that he had left an indelible mark through his excellent work. He was simple, honest, and calm.
Reputedly known for his lectures on Marxism and leadership qualities, Thangavelu had been a state executive committee member for about two and a half decades. He was elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly in the 2011 elections and he had represented Tirupur South constituency. According to the reports, during his term as the legislator in the state, he had been a voice for the labor welfare and he was close to the people of his constituency.
Born in an ordinary family, he had served in the trade unions during which he campaigned for the rights of laborers and workers. The CPI -Marxist added that his demise is a huge loss for the party, the working class, and the left movement. To honor him, the party has announced three-day mourning and the party flags would fly at half-mast in the party's offices across the state.
Expressing his condolences to the family of the deceased and the party, DMK President MK Stalin has said that Thangavelu had distinguished himself as a trade union leader through his hard work in fighting for labor rights. The DMK President said that the long agitation of the deceased leader was significant for the welfare of the workers.
MDMK General Secretary Vaiko and Secretary of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Communist Party of India R Mutharasan had placed their condolences to the departed leader. He is the third political leader in the state to become a victim of the pandemic. Earlier, DMK MLA J Anbazhagan had on June 10 died of the viral infection, becoming the first MLA in the country to succumb to the pandemic. On August 28, Congress MP and founder of Vasanth & Co H Vasanthakumar had died due to the pandemic.
So far, over 20 sitting MLAs of Tamil Nadu had tested positive for COVID-19 including senior state ministers as the state has been reeling through the rapid spread of the virus amid large-scale relaxations.