A staunch loyalist, Tindivanam K. Ramamurthee rose through the ranks of his party, and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tindivanam in 1991.
Former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president Tindivanam K. Ramamurthee, who had represented the party in the Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha died on Sunday. He was 87-years-old and is survived by two daughters and a son.
Mr. Ramamurthee had his political roots in S.S. Ramasamy Padayachi’s Tamil Nadu Toilers’ party.
“He accepted the call of Congress leader Kamaraj and joined the Congress and was one of the Congress leaders who were elected to State Assembly in 1967 when the DMK captured power in the state,” said R. Rajamohan, the son-in-law of Mr. Ramamurthee.
He was then elected to the Legislative Council in 1978 and served as the leader of the Congress party in the council. An articulate member of the Assembly and the Council on public platforms, Mr. Ramamurthee went on to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1984 and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tindivanam in 1991.
Despite being a powerful Congress leader, and close to the party stalwart G.K. Moopanar , he did not join the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) floated by Mr. Moopanar in 1996, in an act of rebellion against the Congress high command’s decision to align with the AIADMK.
“Moopanar had chosen him as the candidate for Tindivanam Lok Sabha constituency. But DMK leader Karunanidhi told him that Ramamurthee was unlikely to join the TMC and he proved right. Subsequently, the DMK fielded T.G. Venkatraman, a cousin of Ramamurthee, who became a union minister,” recalled a senior Congress leader.
Later, Mr. Ramamurthee was appointed the president of the Tamil Nadu Congress in 1998, however, his relationship with the party continued to be a roller-coaster ride.
In 2006, he was expelled from the party after he met AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa and gave an interview to Jaya TV when the Congress was an ally of the DMK. He later floated the Tamizhaga Indira Congress, which was eventually rechristened and registered as Tamil Nadu Jananayaga Congress and extended support to the AIADMK. However Jayalalithaa did not allot any seat to his party in the Assembly elections that year.
Ramamurthee also had a brief stint in the Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar. He headed the party’s unit in Tamil Nadu, which was later dismantled by Mr Pawar.
Mr. Ramamurthee was not very active in politics in his last few years.
TNCC president K.S. Alagiri condoled his death.