Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu died at a private hospital in Chennai late on Saturday night due to coronavirus-related complications. He was 72. Doraikkannu was admitted to the hospital on October 13 after he complained of breathlessness. Later, he tested positive for Covid-19. He was put on on oxygen support since the time of admission and had been on ventilator support from several days.
A three-time MLA from Papanasam Assembly constituency in Thanjavur district, Doraikannu held several posts in the AIADMK including that of the party’s Thanjavur north zone secretary and the position of the secretary of the party’s Papanasam Union for three decades. He was also a leader of the District Agriculture Marketing Committee. He won his first Assembly election in 2006 and he retained the Papanasam seat in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly polls. He was inducted into the state Cabinet by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa after his 2016 victory.
As agriculture minister, Doraikannu was instrumental in getting the Cauvery delta declared as a protected special agricultural zone. During the Covid-related lockdown too, he steered several reforms in handling and managing agricultural produce and livestock services in the state.
“Deeply anguished by the passing away of Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister, Sri Doraikannu,” Naidu tweeted.
The Prime Minister’s Office quoted Modi as saying: “Saddened by the demise of Minister in the Tamil Nadu Government, Thiru R. Doraikkannu. He made noteworthy efforts to serve society and empower the farmers. Condolences to his family and supporters in this sad hour.” —with PTI inputs
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