Sedapatti R. Muthiah, the former Speaker of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, who was unwell, died at a private hospital in Madurai on Wednesday.
He was 76. He is survived by his wife, Sakunthala and four children.
Muthiah, who was the Speaker during former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s first regime between 1991 and 1996, switched his loyalty to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 2006 after being the AIADMK MLA from Sedapatti Assembly constituency in Madurai district for four terms.
He registered a hat-trick victory in the constituency after winning first time in 1977 after M.G. Ramachandran founded the AIADMK. He won from the constituency in 1980, 1984 and 1991.
Subsequently, he also became the party’s MP from Periyakulam Lok Sabha constituency in Theni district between 1989-91 and 1998-99.
He also became Union Minister for Surface Transport during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government in the Centre in 1998 and served for a brief period.
He earned the wrath of the then AIADMK supremo, Jayalalithaa, after he "forgot" to cast his vote on the no-confidence motion moved against the Vajpayee government in 1999. She expelled Muthiah, who was also party treasurer, from the primary membership of the party in April 2000.
Muthiah was the head of DMK party election committee. Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin, visited the ailing leader at the hospital here on September 8.
Muthiah's son, M. Manimaran, is the DMK's Madurai South district secretary.
Party sources said his funeral would take place at his native village Muththappanpatti near Tirumangalam on Thursday evening.