Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) was formed as a breakaway faction from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on October 17, 1972.
MG Ramachandran was a member of the Congress Party till 1953. In 1953, MGR joined the DMK, attracted by its founder CN Annadurai.
Ramachandran became a member of the state Legislative Council in 1962. He was first elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in 1967 at the age of 50.
After the death of his mentor, Annadurai, Ramachandran became the treasurer of DMK in 1969 after Muthuvel Karunanidhi became the CM.
Historian R Kannan writes for a digital news website that MGR continued to address Kalaignar as ‘Andavanae’ or ‘god’ even after their 27-year friendship had ended in the year 1972.
In 1972, MGR alleged that corruption had grown in the DMK after the demise of Annadurai. Consequently, Ramachandran was expelled from the party. In the same year, he floated a new party which he called Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK).
One of MGR’s most successful policies was the conversion of the “Midday Meal Scheme”, introduced by the popular Congress Chief Minister and ‘Kingmaker’ K Kamaraj, which already was encouraging underprivileged children to attend school, into “MGR’s Nutritious Meal Scheme” in government-run and aided schools in Tamil Nadu by adding saththurundai – a nutritious sugary flour dumpling.
MG Ramachandran, after having two marriages where both his first and second wives died of illness, married Janaki, who was once his leading lady and later also sat on the Chief Minister chair of TN.
After his death, he also became the third CM from the State to receive the Bharat Ratna after C Rajagopalachari and K Kamaraj. The timing of the award was controversial, as it was given rather quickly after his death and he was elected as the CM only 11 years before the award.
Many opponents accused the then ruling party INC, under Rajiv Gandhi, of having influenced the selection committee to give the award to earn a win the upcoming 1989 Lok Sabha election.
MGR died on December 24, 1987 at his Ramavaram Gardens residence in Manapakkam after a prolonged illness.
The ruling party formed a coalition with Jayalalithaa, the successor to Ramachandran at that time, sweeping TN, winning 38 out of 39 seats.
The election also firmly heralded the arrival of Jayalalithaa as the undisputed supremo of the AIADMK.
MGR still holds the record of being the Chief Minister with the highest consistent longevity of more than a decade: between 1977 and 1987. He was also the first-ever film actor to become a Chief Minister in India