AIADMK’s organisation secretary Vishalakshi Nedunchezhian, who also held the post of the chairperson of Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women, died here on Monday. She was 92 and is survived by her son N. Mathivanan and daughter-in-law Kalyani Mathivanan, who had a tumultuous tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University. “She was not well a few months ago, but had fully recovered.Today, she suddenly fainted and we rushed her to hospital where she was declared dead,” said Mr. Mathivanan. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who is in Apollo Hospitals, “called” Mr. Mathivanan over phone and expressed her condolence.
Vishalakshi, a gynaecologist by training, kept away from politics so long as her husband V.R. Nedunchezhian, former Finance Minister and one of the founding members of the DMK, was alive.
She was appointed as the organisation secretary of the AIADMK after his death in 2000 and she became a regular visitor to the AIADMK headquarters.
Hers was one of the names in the news when a replacement for Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was considered when the latter was convicted by the Bengaluru Special Court.
Vishalakshi, a native of Salem, studied medicine in the Christian Medical College in Vellore.
“She excelled in her career as a gynaecologist, and in 1952, when Bhaktavatsalam was the Chief Minister of the State, she went abroad for advanced training in her field. That DMK founder Annadurai received her at the Chennai airport explains Nedunchezhian’s standing in the party and her popularity as a gynaecologist,” said K. Thirunavukkarasu, historian of the Dravidian Movement. She retired as the Deputy Director of Public Health.