PUDUCHERRY: Veteran CPI leader Rajamanickam passed away on Saturday night. He was 104. As per his will, his body was donated to the JIPMER Hospital.
The body was handed over after a condolence meeting was organised at his residence at Sithangudi here, on Sunday evening.
Rajamanickam is the father of R Viswanathan, the CPI Puducherry secretary.
Born on December 20, 1910, Rajamanickam had participated in the Pondicherry Liberation Movement against the French and was a contemporary and a close associate of freedom fighter V Subbiah. A former Swedeshi Textile Mill worker, Rajamanickam participated in many workers’ agitations and was jailed several times.
The Communist leader, who kept his party membership till his end, exercised his franchise in the recent Lok Sabha elections, in which his son Viswanathan contested. Despite his failing health, he came to the polling booth at Sithankudi, accompanied by his son and cast his vote.
Rajamanickam first cast his vote in 1963 general elections.
Earlier, he also cast his vote in the 1953 elections held here, to elect a representative for the French parliament.
An array of leaders led by Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy paid last respect to the departed soul. Among those who paid homage were— former Union minister of State, V Narayanasamy, PCC chief A V Subramanian and Vikravandi MLA, Ramamurthy, Ministers P Rajavelu, Thiagarajan, AINRC MLAs, G Nehru, Viathianthan, Ashok Anand, AIADMK MLAs, P Purushothaman, L Periasamy and A Baskar.
The condolence meeting was attended by former Chief Minister V Vaithilingam, former ministers Namassivayam and Kandasamy, senior CPI leader Nallakannu, former MLA Na Ra Kalainathan, Tamil Nadu CPI leader Mahendran, CPM Puducherry State leaders V Perumal and T Murugan.
The CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy and national secretary D Raja spoke to Viswanathan and conveyed condolences to the bereaved family.