Chennai, May 20 - Tamil Nadu Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment P.T.R. Palanivelrajan died of a massive cardiac arrest at Dindigul, 395 km from here, in the early hours Saturday.
Palanivelrajan, a long time Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) functionary, was elected from the Madurai Central constituency in the May 8 assembly elections.
He was 74. Wife Rukmani and a son, who lives in the US, survive him.
Palanivelrajan, coming from the family of the illustrious Congress leader P.T. Rajan, was the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly from 1996 to 2001.
The deceased minister was travelling to Madurai from Chennai in the Pandian Express last night. In the early hours of this morning, he complained of chest pain, when the train was near Dindigul.
Palanivelrajan was rushed to the Dindigul General hospital but he was dead before he reached the hospital.
Palanivelrajan's body was then taken to Madurai, where the funeral rites will be held Sunday. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, senior central minister T.R. Baalu and Tamil Nadu ministers will fly to Madurai to attend the last rites.
Chief Minister Karunanidhi, expressing deep shock at the sudden death of his minister in a statement here said: 'He was a man of great humility, culture and integrity.'
The DMK said party flags will fly at half-mast for three days at the party headquarters and all party programmes stood 'cancelled'.