Senior Congress leader and four-time MP L. Adaikalaraj died here on Thursday following a heart attack. He was 76.
On complaining of uneasiness on Wednesday evening, he was admitted to a private hospital in the city. Diagnosed with having suffered a heart attack, he died in the hospital around noon. Central Ministers and senior Congress leaders are expected to participate in the funeral slated for Friday evening.
Adaikalaraj is survived by wife, three sons and two daughters.
A close associate of late G.K. Moopanar, Adaikalaraj was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time from the Tiruchi constituency in 1984 on the Congress ticket.
He managed to win from the Tiruchi seat comfortably in the 1989 and 1991 elections on Congress ticket and in 1996 elections as nominee of the now-defunct Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC). His fifth attempt to enter the Lok Sabha from the Tiruchi constituency went futile as he suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Rangarajan Kumaramangalam in 1998 elections.
Hailing from a traditional Congress family and son of A.S.G. Lourdusamy Pillai, who served as chairman of Tiruchi Municipality for a decade, Adaikalaraj rejoined the Congress when the TMC merged with the parent body after the demise of Moopanar.
A close friend of matinee idol Rajinikanth, Adaikalaraj played a crucial role in mobilising support of the actor’s fans for the DMK-TMC alliance in the 1996 general elections, which helped the combine sweep the polls. He was nominated as the vice-president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee in 2004 and continued to hold the post till date.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B.S. Gnanadesikan on Thursday condoled his death.
He said in a statement that the death of Adaikalaraj was a great loss to the party.