PM hails TN BJP veteran K N Lakshmanan's role in anti- emergency movement

(Eds: Recasts headline, first para) Chennai, June 2 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of K N Lakshmanan, a former president of BJP's Tamil Nadu unit, and recalled the veteran leader's role in the anti-emergency movement.

'Anguished by the demise of Shri K N Lakshmanan ji. He was at the forefront of serving the people of Tamil Nadu and expanding the BJP organisation there.

'His role in the anti-emergency movement and participation in socio-cultural activities will always be remembered. Om Shanti,' Modi tweeted.

Lakshmanan died due to age related problems at his residence in Sevvaipettai in Salem on Monday night.

He was 92.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had clamped Emergency and it lasted for 21 months between 1975 and 1977.

Seen as a dark phase in the history of independent India, the period witnessed imprisonment of a host of opposition leaders and censorship was imposed on the press.

Lakshmanan, who had represented the Mylapore assembly constituency in Chennai from 2001-06, is survived by his wife Ranganayaki Ammal, daughter Bhuvaneshwari and son Sekhar.

He had been the President of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP twice.

Party president J P Nadda, too paid rich tributes to the leader and said, 'Lakshmanan's remarkable journey from Jan Sangh to BJP and his dedication to serve the people will always inspire us.' Nadda expressed his sympathies to the bereaved family members and followers of Lakshmanan.

BJP national secretary P Muralidhar Rao said: 'He was very simple but deeply committed to the ideology of nationalism and public service, unassuming but unswerving from the path of empowering people and nation.' Starting that the former state unit president excelled in all spheres from politics to religion and education, state president L Murugan said Lakshmanan was a nationalist.

'His contribution in the field of education was remarkable. In 1970, along with N P Vasudevan, he started the Sri Vidhya Mandir school in a modest manner with mere 35 students. Now the institution has grown in stature accommodating over 1,000 students,' Murugan said.

Senior BJP leaders Pon Radhakrishnan, C P Radhakrishnan, state general secretaries Vanathi Srinivasan and K T Raghavan wereamong those who paid rich tributes to the departed leader. PTI CORR VGN ROH VS VS