Natarajan Maruthappa, businessman and husband of J Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala Natarajan who played a key role in party matters, behind the scenes, before he and his family were sidelined by the current ruling faction.
He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with severe chest infection and was put on ventilator support. In 2017, he underwent a kidney transplant. He had been on a transplant wait list since April 2017 and underwent a combined liver and kidney transplant surgery in October 2017. He had been suffering since.
He died due to multiple organ failure, said hospital authorities, reports ANI. “It is with profound grief and sorrow that we announce the sad demise of Natarajan Maruthappa at 1.35 AM today,” an official release issued by Shanmuga Priyan, chief operating officer of Gleneagles Global Health City said.
Natarajan’s body was later kept at his Besant Nagar residence for people to pay homage. Sources close to him said that his body will be taken later in the day to his native village in Thanjavur district for the final rites.
VK Sasikala, currently lodged in the central prison Bengaluru, has applied for 15-day parole to attend the last rites of Mr Natarajan. She was granted an emergency parole in October last year when Natarajan underwent the kidney transplant.
As his condition became critical, friends and family gathered at the hospital on Saturday evening. TTV Dhinakaran, who had recently announced his party and is Sasikala’s nephew also reached the hospital on Saturday evening. MDMK leader Vaiko also paid a visit to the hospital.
A man who has repeatedly claimed ‘I made Jayalalithaa Chief Minister’, Natarajan was someone who preferred to remain close to power centres.
He was quite candid about his ambition to become a power centre himself and at one point of time it was speculated among political circles in TN that Natarajan fancies himself as the CM of Tamil Nadu, and Jayalalithaa as the country’s Prime Minister.
A former public relations official in the Tamil Nadu government, Natarajan played a key role, behind the scenes, in the party matters before he and his family were sidelined by the current ruling faction.