Tiruchirapalli: Veteran CPI(M) leader R Umanath passed away here on Wednesday following a brief illness.
The 93-year-old veteran is survived by two of his three
daughters. His wife Pappa Umanath, also a well-known Left leader and another daughter Netravathi, had predeceased him.
His daughters U Vasuki and U Nirmalarani are part of CPI(M). The former had unsuccessfully contested the April 24 Lok Sabha polls from North Chennai.
Umanath breathed his last in a hospital here this morning, CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan said. Party general Secretary Prakash Karat had last week visited the leader.
A veteran city-based trade unionist, Umanath had started his political career as a member of the unified communist party and rose to the ranks of Member, CPI(M) Politburo and All India Deputy General Secretary of CITU.
He was elected twice to Parliament from Pudukottai in 1962 and 1967, besides enjoying an equal number of stints as Nagapattinam MLA in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
During the British period, he led a life in hiding and had worked as a `courier` to collect and deliver information among Communist workers and was arrested in 1940 and imprisoned for two years, Ramakrishnan said.
He had spent nine years in prison besides another seven in hiding. Ramakrishnan described his loss as an `irreparable damage` to CPI(M) and the working class.
DMK chief Karunanidhi condoled the death of the veteran trade union leader and recalled his association with Umanath in various struggles.
"I was shocked when I was informed over phone from CPI(M) office about Umanatha`s demise. Earlier, after coming to know that he was ill, I had wished he should recover soon," he said in a statement while expressing his sympathies to the family members of the deceased leader and CPI(M) workers.
MDMK leader Vaiko heaped encomiums on Umanath, calling him a "great Parliamentarian and a trade unionist."
VCK founder Thol.Tirumavalavan said Umanath was at the forefront of common people`s struggles on various issues and recalled that his wife Pappa and his entire family had dedicated themselves for the Communist movement.