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J Anbazhagan, a powerful leader of the DMK, dies of Covid-19

Representing the Chepauk-Triplicane Assembly constituency, J Anbazhagan actively took part in relief work during the lockdown period.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: June 10, 2020 2:53:53 pm
DMK MLA J Anbazhagan coronavirus, dmk mla coronavirus hospital, covid hospital chennai, covid news, latest news, Anbazhagan died on his 62nd birthday.

One of DMK’s tallest leaders in the Chennai region, J Anbazhagan died on Wednesday morning at a local hospital weeks after he tested positive for Covid-19. His condition had been critical and he was on ventilator support. Anbazhagan died on his 62nd birthday.

Anbazhagan was taken to Dr Rela Institute & Medical Centre with severe acute respiratory distress. Although he initially managed with oxygen therapy using a face-mask, he was put on ventilator support as his respiratory distress worsened and his condition remained unchanged.

A statement by the hospital Wednesday read: “Anbazhagan, who has been fighting for his life with severe Covid-19 pneumonia rapidly deteriorated early this morning. In spite of full medical support including mechanical ventilation at our Covid facility, he succumbed to his illness.”

Read this story in Tamil

Last Friday, DMK chief M K Stalin and state health minister C Vijayabaskar had visited Anbazhagan.

Anbazhagan took part in Covid-19 relief work until the last week of May.

Representing the Chepauk-Triplicane Assembly constituency, Anbazhagan actively took part in relief work during the lockdown period. What made his health condition challenging was a liver transplant he had about 15 years ago.

Hailing from a traditional DMK family, Anbazhagan’s father Jayaraman was also a DMK worker. Few days ago, Stalin recalled how Jayaraman had taken part in protests during Emergency and had been arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). “Anbazhagan did more than what his father had done for the party,” Stalin said.

Anbazhagan hailed from a traditional DMK family.

If Jayaraman was the pet of late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, Anbazhagan was the close aide of both Karunanidhi and his son, Stalin. He was known for his key role in running the party in Chennai, and also organised almost all the massive events and protests for DMK in the city over the last two decades.

“Anbazhagan was an authority in sports, he himself was a sportsman. Kalaignar (late Karunanidhi) used to insist on Anbazhagan’s company whenever he found time to watch IPL cricket matches. He was a fiery speaker, and remained active during Assembly proceedings in his three terms,” a source close to Stalin said.

Anbazhagan with the late Karunanidhi. (Twitter/@KanimozhiDMK)

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami expressed his deep grief over the death of Anbazhagan.

Anbazhagan is survived by his wife and two children.

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