AIADMK Sulur MLA R. Kanagaraj died of cardiac arrest on Thursday morning. He was 64.
Party functionaries said Kanagaraj collapsed and died while reading a newspaper at his residence in Vadambacherry village near Sultanpet in Sulur.
With the death of the first-time MLA, the vacancy in the Tamil Nadu
Assembly has increased to 22. By-elections are being held in 18 of these consituencies on April 18.
ALSO READKanagaraj is the fifth legislator of the current Assembly to die since May 2016. Earlier vacancies were caused following the deaths of Seenivel and AK Bose (Both elected on AIADMK ticket from Tirupparankundram); Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa (RK Nagar) on December 5, 2016 and DMK president M. Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) on August 7, 2018.
Besides, 18 dissident AIADMK MLAs were disqualified and former Minister Balakrishna Reddy incurred disqualification following his conviction in a criminal case.
Kanagaraj began his political career with the AIADMK as its division secretary and then became the Sultanpet Panchayat Union secretary of the party. He is survived by wife Rathinam, son Shanmugasundaram and daughter Bhamavijaya.