Chennai: Senior DMK functionary and former MLA N. Periyasami died at a private hospital here this morning after a brief illness. He was 78.
Periyasami, who was admitted to the Sri Ramachandra Hospital at suburban Porur, died at 7am today, a DMK release here said.
He is the father of former DMK Minister and Tuticorin MLA Ms Geetha Jeevan. The body of Periyasami, who is also the Tuticorin South district Secretary of the DMK, is being taken to his native Tuticorin for last rites.
Periyasami joined the DMK movement in 1960 and was detained under MISA during the Emergency.
A DMK release here announced three-day mourning as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
During the mourning period, the party flag would fly at half-mast and all the DMK events were deferred for the next three days.
DMK Working President M.K. Stalin accompanied by senior party leaders, including former Union Ministers T.R. Baalu and A. Raja and former State Ministers, paid homage to the mortal remains of Periyasami at the hospital.
Condoling his death on behalf of DMK President M. Karunanidhi and on his own behalf, Stalin said Periyasami had special love and affection towards the DMK Chief, and added that he was instrumental in the growth of the party in the southern district.
Recalling that Periyasami had served as leaders of several trade unions, Stalin expressed deep anguish over his death and offered his condolences to the bereaved family.
MDMK General Secretary Vaiko also paid homage to Periyasami, and said he was instrumental in converting the DMK into a fortress in the southern districts. Vaiko said his death was a big loss to the Dravidian movement.