He is sixth legislator of the current House to die midterm
DMK MLA K. Rathamani, who represented the Vikravandi constituency, died at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) in Puducherry on Friday following a brief illness. He was 67.
He is the sixth MLA of the current House to die midterm. With this, Tamil Nadu is set to witness byelection in two constituencies — Vikravandi and Nanguneri.
The vacancy in Nanguneri was caused by the resignation of Congress leader H. Vasanthkumar following his recent election to Parliament from the Kanniyakumari constituency. Mr. Rathamani had served as the presiding chairman of the DMK central district in Villupuram.
He was a close aide of DMK heavyweight and former Minister K. Ponmudi.
DMK president M.K. Stalin, Mr. Ponmudi, Nilgiris MP A. Raja were among those who paid their respects to Mr. Rathamani at the Jipmer. The body was later taken to his residence at Kalinjikuppam.
In his condolence message, Mr. Stalin recalled Mr. Rathamani’s services to the party saying he had performed exceptionally well as the DMK Villupuram district in-charge. He also effectively raised issues pertaining to the Vikravandi constituency in the Assembly.
The current House witnessed byelection to five seats due to the death of former Chief Ministers Jayalalithaa (R.K. Nagar) and M. Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur); and AIADMK MLAs S.M. Seenivel and A.K. Bose (both representing Tirupparankundram), and R. Kanakaraj (Sulur).
Incidentally, Tamil Nadu has so far faced bypolls to 24 Assembly seats since May 2016, a record of sorts in the State. While bypolls were held in 18 seats due to the disqualification of dissident AIADMK legislators, in Hosur, by-election was held following the disqualification of former Minister Balakrishna Reddy due to his conviction in a criminal case.
Bypolls to Vikravandi and Nanguneri are likely to be held simultaneously on a date decided by the Election Commission. Besides, polls are due in the Vellore Parliamentary constituency, where the Election Commission had annulled its poll notification following charges of attempt to bribe voters on a large scale.
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