CHENNAI: Veteran DMK leader and former state minister SP Sarguna Pandian passed away at her residence here early on Saturday after prolonged illness. She was 76.
The two-time legislator, elected from RK Nagar Assembly segment in 1989 and 1996, breathed her last at 3.30 am, DMK sources said.
Inspired by her father Ponnusamy, a self-respect movement man, Sarguna Pandian began her political career as a stage orator as a child. She was born on January 14, 1941. Her oratory skills earned her laurels as the late CM CN Annadurai honoured her with a title Sollin Selvi.
Beginning from heading the student wing of the DMK, she went on to become the head of the party’s women’s wing and then became the deputy general secretary, the position she held till her last.
Top leaders, including DMK chief M Karunanidhi and treasurer MK Stalin, visited her house located at Royapuram and paid last respects to the veteran leader, who had been down with illness for months together. Saying that Sarguna Pandian had left her stamp in every unit she had served in the party beginning from student wing to deputy general secretary, Karunanidhi noted that she performed commendably as Minister of Social Welfare since 1996. “She had left an unbearable misery in me. I express my heartfelt condolences to her bereaved family and the women’s wing of the party”, he stated.
The mortal remains were taken out in a procession before being consigned to flames at the crematorium in Royapuram.
Sarguna Pandian was made a nominated member of the then Madras Corporation in 1971 and was in the forefront in organising several party events and protests. She became the Minister for Social Welfare in 1996 and served till 2001, the sources said.