Rangasamy hails his sincere services to the Union Territory
Former Chief Minister of Puducherry P. Shanmugam passed away at the Karaikal Government Hospital on Saturday. The 86-year-old Shanmugam was ailing and rushed to the hospital with a head injury at 8.30 a.m. following after a fall in the bathroom of his residence here. Shanmugam, a bachelor, was gearing up for the day when he fell. Hospital sources said that he sustained a severe head injury, resulting in a blood clot. The end came at 11.30 a.m.
Shanmugam was the Chief Minister of Puducherry for a year, in two stints of six months each, in 2000-2001. He was a three-time MP from Puducherry. He was elected to the Assembly from Yanam.
Special Correspondent from Puducherry adds:
The Puducherry Cabinet on Saturday declared three-day mourning as a mark of respect to Shanmugam whose funeral will take place at Nedungadu, his native place, on Sunday.
The Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy observed a two minutes’ silence as a mark of respect to the towering personality, who was fondly called Nedunkattar by his followers.
The national flag will fly at half mast for 3 days from Saturday. Shanmugam will be given State funeral and there will be no official engagements during the mourning period.
“The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Shanmugam, who has occupied important positions. Puducherry has benefited a lot from his sincere service. His death is a great loss for Puducherry…,” said Mr. Rangasamy after the Cabinet meeting.
He said that Shanmugam was a model leader, who followed probity and honesty throughout his public life.
A staunch loyalist of the Nehru-Gandhi family, he was in politics since 1950. He was the Leader of the Opposition between 1969 and 1973 when the DMK formed the government. He represented Puducherry in the Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms from 1980 and was elected to Puducherry Assembly thrice. He held the post of Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee for about 33 years. He played key role in the formation of many governments in the Union Territory. He kept himself away from active politics since 2008 citing health reasons. He was regarded as an able administrator and decisive decision maker. Known for his honesty and integrity, he led a simple life during his entire political career spanning over 60 years.
Against all odds, he worked hard to establish Puducherry University. Similarly, he played a key role over the establishment of the Karaikal Port and many infrastructural projects. Shanmugam was acclaimed as an iron man and uncompromising statesman in maintaining law and order in Puducherry. He didn’t own any property in Puducherry.
He was believed to have broken the syndicate of powerful lobbies while auctioning toddy and arrack licenses, which ultimately increased government revenue.
Many political leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, mourned the great leader. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy, along with former Chief Minister Vaithilingam, paid respects to Shanmugam. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said Shanmugam’s death was a loss to the Congress and the people of Puducherry.
In a condolence message, Shipping Minister, G.K. Vasan stated that Shanmugam worked tirelessly for the people of the Union Territory for nearly 60 years. He participated in the freedom struggle.
TNCC president, B.S. Gnanadesikan condoled his death.