P Vetrivel, treasurer of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and former legislator, died at a private hospital on Thursday due to septicemia.
Vetrivel, who was under intensive care in Chennai’s Sri Ramachandra Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, died at 6.40pm on Thursday. He was 58. Vetrivel died due to septic shock, hospital said in a bulletin.
Leaders cutting across party lines including Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran and DMK president M K Stalin condoled his demise.
Dhinakaran, in his condolence message, described the former legislator as one who expressed his views forthrightly and said his party’s flag would fly at half mast for a week.
After the 1996 local body elections in the State, Vetrivel shot into prominence as the floor leader of the Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) and leader of the opposition in the Chennai Corporation Council.
Vetrivel hit the headlines when in 2015 he resigned as R K Nagar MLA to facilitate former chief minister J Jayalalithaa to contest and resume as chief minister. Jayalalithaa had earlier resigned as CM after being convicted by a Bengaluru court in a disproportionate wealth case. She was later acquitted by the Karnataka high court.
In 2016, he returned to the House from Perambur. When the AIADMK suffered a split a few months after the death of Jayalalithaa, he sided with the camp led by V K Sasikala and later, her nephew Dhinakaran.