BJP’s first-ever MLA in Tamil Nadu, Velayuthan dies

Velayuthan was elected from the Padmanabhapuram Assembly constituency in the Kanniyakumari district.


Published May 09, 2024 | 11:25 AM Updated May 09, 2024 | 11:25 AM


C Velayuthan, who was the BJP’s first MLA in the Tamil Nadu Assembly died on Wednesday, 8 May, in his home district of Kanniyakumari, the party said. He was 73.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president JP Nadda condoled Velayuthan’s death.

In a post on X, Modi said: “Anguished by the passing away of Thiru C. Velayutham Ji, the first BJP MLA from Tamil Nadu. It is people like him who have built our party in Tamil Nadu and explained our development agenda to the people. He will also be remembered for his concern for the poor and downtrodden. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

BJP national president JP Nadda recalled the deceased leader’s commitment and dedication to the party and society and said it will always be remembered.

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‘Sowed seeds of confidence’

Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai hailed Velayuthan as a pioneer of the party in the state who worked hard and “sowed the seeds of confidence for the party’s growth in Tamil Nadu”.

In a post on ‘X’, he condoled the death of Velayuthan and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family.

Several other BJP leaders, including Union Minister L Murugan condoled Velayuthan’s death and fondly recalled that he was their party’s first MLA in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

Velayuthan’s victory in the 1996 Assembly election was remarkable, not only because the saffron party opened its account in the assembly on its own, but it happened when the DMK-led alliance swept the polls, decimating the AIADMK.

Velayuthan was elected from the Padmanabhapuram Assembly constituency in the Kanniyakumari district, where the party has several pockets of influence and cadre strength.

In 1996, Velayuthan defeated his nearest rival Bala Janathipathy of the DMK and won by a margin of 4,540 votes. He was associated with Sevabharathi, an RSS-affiliated social service organisation and took part in the anti-emergency movement from 1975 to 1977.

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