Former Puducherry CM Shanmugam passes away

Staff Reporter
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Rangasamy hails his sincere services to the Union Territory


The former Chief Minister of Puducherry P. Shanmugam passed away at the Karaikal Government Hospital, after a fall in his bathroom at his residence here on Saturday.

Eighty-six-year-old Shanmugam was already ailing. He was rushed to the hospital with a head injury at about 8.30 a.m. following the mishap, but he succumbed to the injury.

Shanmugam was the Chief Minister of Puducherry for a brief period of a year in two stints of six months each in 2000-2001 and was also 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 3-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 the Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, observed 2-minute silence as a mark of respect to the towering personality, who was fondly known as 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 due to his sincere service. His death is a great loss to Puducherry. He is a light house of Puducherry,” said Mr. Rangasamy after the Cabinet meeting.

He added that Shanmugam was a model leader, who followed probity and honesty throughout his public life. He had given light to many politicians.

Shanmugam, a bachelor, was preparing himself for attending daily routine when the mishap took place. Hospital sources said he sustained severe head injury, causing blood clot and the end came at 11.30 a.m.

He was at the helm of affairs of Puducherry as Chief Minister twice from 2000 to 2001. A staunch loyalist of Nehru-Gandhi family was in politics since 1950. He was also 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 also 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 Karaikal Port and many infrastructural projects. Shanmugam was acclaimed as iron man and uncompromised statesman in maintaining law and order in Puducherry. He didn’t have any property in Puducherry.

He was believed to have broken the syndicate of powerful lobbies while auctioning toddy and arrack licenses, which ultimately increased the revenue of the government.


Many political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed condolences to the great leader. The 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, the Shipping Minister, G.K. Vasan, said Shanmugam had worked tirelessly for the people of the Union Territory for nearly 60 years. He had participated in the freedom struggle. TNCC president, B.S. Gnanadesikan condoled his death.

  • Eighty-six-year-old Shanmugam slipped in his bathroom on Saturday

  • He was regarded as an able administrator and decisive decision maker




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