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Freedom fighter and CPM leader N Sankaraiah passes away at 102 | Chennai News

Freedom fighter and veteran communist leader N Sankaraiah passed away due to age-related illness at a hospital in Chennai on Wednesday morning. He was 102.

Born in 1922, Sankaraiah entered public life at a very young age and spent close to nine years in prison during the freedom movement. He was among the 32 National Council Members who broke away from the Communist Party of India due to ideological differences to form the CPM in 1964.

He served as the CPI(M) state secretary and was elected from the Madurai (West) constituency in 1967 and twice from the Madurai East constituency in 1977 and 1980 to the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

Chief Minister M K Stalin and other senior DMK ministers visited the hospital to pay their homage. Stalin also issued a statement expressing his deepest condolences.

To Sankaraiah’s contribution as a freedom fighter, member of the Assembly, and leader of a political party, the chief minister said his funeral would be conducted with state honours.

Festive offer

Political parties including the AIADMK, Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), and the BJP also expressed their condolences.

As per reports, his mortal remains will be taken to his CPI(M) office in Chennai for people to pay their homage.

He is survived by two sons and a daughter.

In 2021, he was conferred with the Thagaisal Thamizhar award, instituted by the DMK government to honour distinguished personalities for their eminent contribution to Tamil Nadu and the Tamils. The Marxist gave back the Rs 10 lakh cash award presented to him by the state government as a donation to the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund.

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Recently, a controversy erupted between the government and Governor R N Ravi over providing an honorary doctorate to the centenarian.

Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy boycotted the convocation event at Madurai Kamaraj University over the Governor’s refusal to grant approval. Ponmudy linked the Governor’s decision to his alleged RSS affiliations.

“If the Governor cannot respect a freedom fighter like Sankaraiah, the reason could be nothing else than his RSS past. The RSS doesn’t have any respect for freedom fighters,” he said.

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