CHENNAI: Noted industrialist and three-time MLA, 'Pollachi' Dr N Mahalingam died here today following cardiac arrest suffered at a function.
A staunch Gandhian, educationist and philanthropist, 91-year-old Mahalingam's end came on the Gandhi Jayanthi Day.
Chairman of the over Rs 5,000-crore Sakthi Group of Companies and Anamallais Bus Transport Ltd (ABT Services), he was participating in a lecture when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a private hospital but declared brought dead, family sources said.
He is survived by wife, three sons -- M Manickam, M Balasubramaniam and M Srinivasan -- and a daughter. He had published Mahatma Gandhi's works in Tamil in 20 volumes.
Born on March 21, 1923 in Pollachi in Coimbatore district in an agricultural family, Mahalingam was an alumnus of Loyola College in Chennai. He also secured a Diploma from the College of Engineering, Anna University, and was also awarded Honorary Doctorate by Bharathiar University, Coimbatore.
A receipient of several awards including the 'Padma Bhushan' in 2007, he was elected to the state assembly from Pollachi constituency in 1952, 1957 and 1962 polls on Congress ticket.
He had played a key role in development projects, including the Parambikulam-Aliyar water project.
Mahalingam was also actively involved in spiritual life. He was a recipient of Indira Gandhi National Integration Award and had been a member of the State Planning Commission for two terms.
MDMK Chief Vaiko condoled the death of Mahalingam saying it was a huge loss to Tamil language and for Tamil Nadu.