Sedapatti R. Muthiah is an Indian politician of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. He was one of the leaders of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) from its creation and was second in command in AIADMK till 1998. He is popularly known by the name Sedapattiar. He remains a popular politician in Madurai district and has a mass support base in T.Kallupatti Union.
Muthiah was born in the small village of Muthappanpatti 5 km from T.Kallupatti. He is a post graduate(M.Sc) in Mathematics with Distinction from Thiyagarajar College, Madurai. Muthiah wanted to pursue Engineering after his PUC. Since he was from a Rural background, he didn't get admission into Engineering college. He was into Academics before moving into Active Politics.
R. Muthiah joined politics as Student Leader in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in the early days of Dravidian Movement. He took part in the anti-Hindi agitations. He was also a good orator in Tamil. When M.G.R started AIADMK lot of his supporters left DMK and joined in AIADMK. Muthiah along with his supporters joined as well given the fact that M.G.R had a major support in Madurai Region.
Muthiah was chosen to stand from Sedapatti constituency under which hometown comes based on the support he had as a Student Leader in 1977. He won the elections and got elected to the Legislative Assembly. He went on to win consecutive elections from Sedapatti. He was made the Speaker of the Assembly in 1991 and continued his tenure till 1996. Due to his continued victory in all elections he became a household name of the region and hence was called "Sedappattiyar" by people of the area, which later became his name. During his time T.Kallupatti transitioned itself from a sleepy small village into a Town Panchayat administering 42 villages.
He was elected as a Member of Parliament twice from Periyakulam Constituency for Ninth Lok Sabha and Twelfth Lok Sabha. In the Twelfth Lok Sabha he Served as a Union Minister for Surface Transport in Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. He was in the post for a short period of time and had to resign due to a case in Chennai court. He graciously resigned from the post and faced the charges for the 42 lakh case. Political critics say DMK was behind the case. His resignation is a rare occurrence comparing the scams of recent years of very large proportion. He then served as Leader of AIADMK in the parliament and raised issues concerning people.
During the Twelfth Lok Sabha Vajpayee called for a Vote of Confidence after AIADMK had withdrawn support to the government. In the end Vajpayee lost the Vote of Confidence by 1 vote, the Opposition had polled 270 votes and the BJP 269. He had to vote "against" the Confidence Motion as directed by AIADMK. But because of a Technical Error instead of No the machine displayed Abstained The voting machine showed that Mr. Muthiah abstained from voting. The technical issue was acknowledged by the Parliament Team but they didn't rectify it. This led the AIADMK leader to think Muthiah plotted to save the Vajpayee Government and expelled him from the party. Political critics were surprised at how the Technical error lead to the fall of a soft spoken veteran politician .THE COUNTER THOUGHTS OF A PARLIAMENTARY OFFICIAL written by Ramanujam Kodhandaraman, former Cabinet Deputy Secretary & Former Goa State Secretary, describes what actually happened during the No Motion of Confidence in 12th Lok Sabha.
Muthiah was shocked along with the lakhs of supporters on the news of his dismissal. He reacted saying it's Sasikala who is responsible for the issues. In 2001 elections he fielded his wife Mrs. Shakunthala and got a sizable number of votes almost denting most of AIADMK votes. He stayed away from politics for sometime and then joined DMK in 2008 and he became one of the office bearers of the DMK Electoral wing. Large number of his supporters from T. Kallupatti Union joined DMK which has enabled to a major mobilisation of votes for DMK during the Parliamentary elections. Now he is actively involved in all political events. He proved his power in his younger son's marriage which was presided over by M. Karunanidhi, then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Manimaran, younger son of Sedapatti Muthiah was nominated from DMK to contest from Thirumangalam Constituency for 2011 state elections in Madurai which includes T.Kallupatti union also. Manimaran is currently the Secretary of Madurai South District, DMK. Sedapatti Muthiah's popularity and Manimaran's recent performance along with the larger families in nearby villages and Mukkulathor community has gained him fame. He is contesting from Thirupparankundram constituency in 2016 State Elections. Being all pre-election surveys are in his way, he is expected to win by a big margin but lost unfortunately.