TN Agriculture Minister Doraikkannu succumbs to COVID-19
R. Doraikkannu, IANS (File photo)

TN Agriculture Minister Doraikkannu succumbs to COVID-19

Chennai, November 1, 2020

Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister R. Doraikkannu, a COVID-19 patient, has succumbed to the coronavirus disease, said a senior official of Kauvery Hospital.

"With deep grief, we announce the sad demise of the Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Thiru R. Doraikkannu on 31.10.2020 at 11.15 p.m.," said Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive Director in a statement issued here.

Earlier on Saturday, Selvaraj had said Doraikkannu had suffered significant deterioration in vital functions and was extremely critical despite being on maximal life support.

The 72-year-old minister, elected from the Papanasam assembly constituency, was admitted to the hospital on October 13 with serious breathlessness and had tested positive for COVID-19.

"He has multiple comorbidities and the latest CT scan shows 90 per cent of lung involvement. He is currently on ECMO and ventilator, receiving maximum support," Selvaraj had said on Saturday.

On October 13 morning, Doraikkannu was taken to a hospital in Villupuram district after he complained of chest pain and breathing trouble. He complained of ill-health while he was travelling to Salem to pay homage to Chief Minister K. Palaniswami's mother who died on that day.

After his condition stabilised at the government hospital, Doraikkannu was sent to Kauvery Hospital here in an ambulance.

Doraikkannu also held the post of Secretary, Thanjavur (North) District, AIADMK.

The late Minister first entered the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2006 elected from the Papanasam seat and retained the same in the 2011 and the 2016 polls.

He was first appointed as a Minister by late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in 2016.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister K. Palaniswami condoled Doraikkannu's death.

In a message, Purohit said he was saddened to know about the demise of Doraikkannu, who was known for his simplicity, humbleness, straightforwardness, governance skills and commitment towards the welfare of farming community.

Purohit said Doraikkannu's untimely death is an irreparable loss to the people of Tamil Nadu and particularly to the AIADMK Party.

Palaniswami said he was shocked and pained to hear about Doraikkannu's death.

Doraikkannu joined the AIADMK party in 1972 and had a firm commitment to the party's policies and ideology.

Palaniswami said Doraikkannu performed well as the state agriculture minister and conveyed his condolence to the family members of the late minister.

According to DMK President and the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly M. K.Stalin, the late Minister used to strictly follow the house norms while replying to the questions or during the demands for grants for his department.

Stalin also urged all those in the public life, including the Ministers, to take self-protective measures and conveyed his condolences to the family members of the Doraikkannu.

Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) leader M. H. Jawahirullah said Doraikkannu was a good singer and also a humble person who moved well among all sections of people.

Jawahirullah said the late Minister used to attend all weddings and functions and wish people in person. He believed in the human touch.

MDMK leader Vaiko also condoled Doraikkannu's death.

Doraikkannu was the second law maker in Tamil Nadu to have died due to COVID-19. Earlier DMK law maker J. Anbazhagan, elected from the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni assembly constituency died on June 10, 2020.

With Doraikkannu's death, the number of vacancies in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly has gone up to four.

In February this year, DMK members K. P. P. Samy (Tiruvottiyur Assembly Constituency) and S. Kathavarayan, (Gudiyatham (SC) Assembly Constituency) died and were followed by Anbazhagan.

The current party position in the state assembly is: AIADMK-124 members, including the Speaker, DMK-97, Congress-7, Indian Union Muslim League and Independent - one each.


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