Leaders, academics and public from different walks of life showered praises on DMK’s senior leader and Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam for his ‘outstanding’ services to Tamil Nadu and its people and his steadfast commitment to the principles of Periyar and DMK founder leader C. N. Annadurai during his successful five-decade-old public life. The city’s elite organised a day-long function to commemorate the Minister’s 50 years of public life here on Sunday in which Tamil scholars, poets, platform speakers and political leaders spoke at length about the Minister’s contributions to politics, society and agriculture. Debates, poetry and seminars were conducted. A short film on him was also put up.

While speakers recalled Mr. Arumugam’s participation in the Dravidian movement, drew attention to his closeness with DMK leader and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and paid rich encomiums for his contributions to the development of Salem as a tier-II city and district at the seminar, well-known lyricists and poets brought out the six facets of his career in political and social arenas.

His contributions to the infrastructure development of the city such as IT Park, Salem Railway Division, Periyar University and other allied activities, they pointed out, had made the city emerge as an industrial hub in the western zone.

Later at the felicitation function, Union Minister of State for Social Justice D. Napoleon; MGR Kazhagam leader Rm. Veerappan; Secretary, South India Film Actors Association, Radha Ravi; MP Tiruchi Siva, the Minister’s son and Veerapandi MLA A. Raja and others took part. Chairman, Golden Jubilee Committee, A. Dhirajlal presided. Secretary A. Ravindran presented a brief outline of his achievements.

Accepting the felicitations, Mr. Arumugam thanked the Salem citizens for their gesture and assured them of the city’s further development in future.

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