CHENNAI: Parithi Ellamvazhuthi (58), a former Deputy Speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly and a six-time MLA passed away on Saturday due to cardiac arrest. He took on single-handedly the AIADMK government headed by J Jayalalithaa between 1991-96 in the Assembly and overwhelmed by his performance, the then DMK president M Karunanidhi hailed Parithi as Abhimanyu of Ramayana and Indrajit of Mahabharata.
Parithi’s original name was Gandhi. Karunanidhi changed it to Parithi Ellamvazhuthi in 1982. He contested his first Assembly election in 1984 and defeated former minister Sathyavani Muthu, one of the senior leaders associated with CN Annadurai and MG Ramachandran. He played a key role in the growth of youth wing of DMK. Gradually, he rose to the position of deputy general secretary of DMK.
A very good orator laced with humour, his ready-wit and counter arguments irritated the then AIADMK in the Assembly. On one occasion, his dhoti was removed in a scuffle within the House and from then on, Parithi started attending the sessions in black full trousers. His speeches were frequently expunged and he had clashed verbally with the ruling party members often. Rewarding him appropriately for his performance in the House, Karunanidhi made him the Deputy speaker of the Assembly between 1996-2001. Later, he served as Information minister between 2006-11.
In 2011 Assembly elections, he was defeated in Egmore constituency and he alleged that certain DMK functionaries had worked against him. Later, he resigned as deputy general secretary of DMK. In June 2013, he joined AIADMK in the presence of the then general secretary of the party J Jayalalithaa. Immediately, he was made a member of AIADMK executive committee member.
DMK leader MK Stalin, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, AMMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran, TNCC president S Thirunavukkarasar, VCK general secretary Thol Thirumavalavan and leaders of many political parties paid their last respects to Parithi’s mortal remains at his Besant Nagar residence.
After the death of Jayalalithaa, Parithi supported O Panneer-selvam when he revolted against VK Sasikala. But, within a short period, he came out of Panneers-elvam camp and joined hands with the TTV Dhinakaran camp