Tamil Nadu: Nagapattinam MP and senior CPI leader M Selvaraj passes away at 67

Sources in the party said that he had been grappling with health issues for the past three years.
Four-time MP of Nagapattinam constituency and veteran CPI leader M. Selvaraj
Four-time MP of Nagapattinam constituency and veteran CPI leader M. SelvarajExpress photo

CHENNAI/NAGAPATTINAM: Senior Communist Party of India leader and four-time Nagapattinam MP, M Selvaraj, passed away on Monday morning. The 67-year-old is survived by his wife Kamalavathanam and two daughters.

CPI sources said Selvaraj had been grappling with serious illness for the past three years, with frequent episodes of hospitalisation. Last week, he was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai, where he succumbed to his ill health at 2.40 am on Monday.

A committed CPI cadre right from his student years, the leader was elected from the Nagapattinam constituency in 1989, 1996, 1998 and 2019. He did not contest in the 2024 LS election due to his poor health; the party fielded Vai Selvaraj instead.

Prior to his rise as a CPI national committee member, Selvaraj held numerous student and youth wing positions. He fiercely advocated for the Cauvery delta farmers and played an important role in mobilising them to demand action from the centre regarding the water disputes with Karnataka.

Most notably, in July 1989, Selvaraj successfully organised a massive human chain protest that stretched for 110km from Thanjavur to Vedaranyam, demanding the constitution of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

CPI flag to be flown at half-mast

The CPI leader is also known for his efforts towards improving rail connectivity across the delta region. “Selvaraj took swift action towards gauge conversion of railway lines in the delta districts and played an important part in restoring rail service between Agasthiyampalli and Thiruthuraipoondi after many years,” said S Mohan, president of the Nagapattinam Rail Users’ Association.

Syed Mohamed Kalifa Sahib, president of the Nagore Dargah Advisory Board, said, “We are very grateful to Selvaraj for his vote in the parliament to connect Nagore and Ajmer, two important places of Islamic worship, through an interstate rail service.” His mortal remains will be placed at his residence in Sidhamalli until Tuesday to allow for public to pay their respects. His final rites are scheduled for Tuesday at 10 am. Chief Minister M K Stalin and leaders of various political parties condoled the demise of the leader.

CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan described Selvaraj as a people’s worker par excellence, who tirelessly attended to his party responsibilities. He called on the CPI cadre to mourn the veteran’s passing by flying the party flag at half-mast for three days.

AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, ex-CM O Panneerselvam, CPM State Secretary K Balakrishnan, TNCC President K Selvaperunthagai, PMK founder S Ramadoss, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, MMK President MH Jawahirullah, VCK President Thol Thirumavalavan, TMC(M) President G K Vasan, AMMK General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran and others also extended their condolences.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express