All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MLA R Kanagaraj on Thursday, March 21, reportedly died after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. The AIADMK legislator, who represented the Sulur Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, passed away while reading a newspaper.
64-year-old Kanagaraj, an agriculturalist by profession, was at his residence in Vadambacherry village near Sultanpet in Sulur. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. He was declared brought dead when his family took him to the hospital.
With Kanagaraj's death, the number of vacant assembly seats in Tamil Nadu goes up to 22 and the AIADMK's strength in the Tamil Nadu assembly comes down to 113, five short of a majority.
Since May 2016, 5 MLAs have died in the current Tamil Nadu Assembly. They are Seenivel and AK Bose (Both from Tirupparankundram), Jayalalithaa (RK Nagar), Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and Kanakaraj (Sulur).
Chief Minister E Palaniswami and several other ministers are expected to go to Coimbatore to pay their last respects.
The Election Commission has announced by-elections for 18 Assembly constituencies on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha elections. The results of the bypolls would determine the survival of the AIADMK government.