Senior BJP leader passes away

Senior BJP leader and party`s national executive member MN Sukumaran Nambiar died here following an heart attack.

Chennai: Senior BJP leader and party`s national
executive member MN Sukumaran Nambiar died here today
following an heart attack, with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
condoling the death describing him as a "true patriot" whose
passing away, she said, will be a "great loss to the BJP."

The cremation will be held tomorrow and party president
Nitin Gadkari and senior leaders, including M Venkiah Naidu,
will take part, BJP state unit president Pon.Radhakrishnan
Sukumaran (60), son of legendary actor the late MN Nambiar,
is survived by wife and two sons. An industrialist by
profession, he had also served as the BJP`s Treasurer.

Perceived to have enjoyed good relations with senior leader
LK Advani and Jayalalithaa, he is believed to have played a
key role in firming up the alliance between his party and
AIADMK in 1998 and 2004.

He, however, failed to make it to the Lok sabha in the 2004
elections from North Chennai.

"His death is indeed a great loss to the Bharatiya Janata
Party. In his passing away, we have lost a true patriot and a
person who untiringly served society," Jayalalithaa said.
He was an expert in several martial arts, with a black belt
in Karate, she said, adding, he had also trained Indian Army
personnel in the martial arts.

"Like his father, Nambiar evinced keen interest in
spiritualism and was the President of the All India Ayyappa
Seva Sangam," Jayalalithaa said in an official statement.

In his condolence message, Radhakrishnan said despite
being from an affluent family, the late leader used to "move
closely with party workers." He described Nambiar as a great
patriot who had evinced keen interest in the poor`s welfare.

Party flags in the state will fly half-mast for the next
three days in respect of the departed, he said, adding, a
three-day mourning will also be observed.