T.M. Kaliannan, last surviving member of Constituent Assembly, no more

The freedom fighter and Gandhian from erstwhile unified Salem district was 101

Published - May 28, 2021 07:51 pm IST - NAMAKKAL

T.M. Kalliannan Gounder, the last surviving former member of the Indian Constituent Assembly, died at the age of 101 at Thiruchengode in western Tamil Nadu on Friday.

Kalliannan Gounder was born on January10, 1921 at Akaraipatti village in Namakkal. He joined the Indian National Congress at the age of 19 and participated in the Quit India movement. He was elected to the Indian Constituent Assembly while he was 28-years-old. He was reportedly the youngest member in the Constituent Assembly then and also a member of India’s first provisional parliament.

Mr. Gounder served as a Member of Legislative Council in Tamil Nadu and also as and MLA thrice, between 1952 and 1967, his family members said.

A Gandhian, the freedom fighter had worked with stalwarts like Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj. He served as president of the Salem District Zilla Board and was instrumental in setting up about 2,000 schools in the composite Salem district. He was also instrumental in construction of the Ghat road to the Kolli Hills, several irrigation projects and various other development activities in unified Salem district including Salem, Namakkal, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri.

Tiruchengode legislator and Kongunadu Desiya Makkal Katchi leader E.R. Eswaran condoled Mr. Gounder’s death and said his demise is a huge loss to Tamil Nadu and that he was identified with Tiruchengode.

Mr. Eswaran said Kaliannan Gounder brought light into the lives of poor children by opening several schools in unified Salem district.

Minister for Tourism M. Mathiventhan, Namakkal MP A.K.P. Chinraj, and Congress leader Mohan Kumaramangalam also condoled his death.

P.V. Senthil, his grandson remembered Mr. Gounder as someone who sacrificed his money, material and mind for the welfare of people and nation.

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