Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MLA S Kathavarayan died in Tamil Nadu's capital on Friday. Kathavarayan is the second DMK legislator to die in the last two days, bringing down his party's strength in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly to 98.
The 58-year old MLA representing Gudiyatham Assembly constituency in Vellore district breathed his last at a private hospital in Chennai where he was undergoing treatment for illness, party sources said.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and DMK chief MK Stalin condoled Kathavarayan's death. Stalin pointed out that Kathavarayan's death came a day after the demise of another party MLA and former Minister KPP Samy in Cheenai on Thursday.
"Its a great loss for me to have lost Samy and Kathavarayan," Stalin said in a statement. Paying rich tributes, Stalin recalled the various positions and responsibilities handled by Kathavarayan, who was elected to the Assembly in 2019 when by-polls to 22 constituencies were held along with the Lok Sabha election. "He earned all-round support during the the bypoll," Stalin said about his junior party colleague and expressed his sympathies with the family of the deceased.
Purohit expressed expressed "shock and grief" over the MLA's death. "His demise is an irreparable loss to the people of Gudiyatham assembly constituency. I convey my deep condolences to the bereaved members of the family and pray to the Almighty God to rest his soul in peace," he said in a condolence message.
He had won the seat in the 2019 by-polls by defeating All India Anna Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) nominee R Moorthy by 27,841 votes.
AIADMK has 125 MLAs including Speaker P Dhanapal, while Congress has seven, Indian Union Muslim League one, Independent one and there is one nominated member.