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Actor-Politician JK Rithesh Dies At 46

Actor JK Rithesh at Valeba Raja (Or Vaaliba Raja) Audio Launch

Actor and ex-Member of Parliament, JK Rithesh, died today of a heart attack. He was 46. According to TV reports, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to Bharani Kumar Hospital in Ramanathapuram today, where he had been campaigning for elections. He succumbed to the attack before treatment could begin.

Rithesh began his career in cinema and has been a politician for over a decade. He was very recently seen in LKG (2019), the RJ-Balaji and Priya Anand starrer in which his role as the villain, politician Ramaraj Pandian, received a good response.

In 2007, he acted in his first film Kaanal Neer, directed by Chinni Jayanth. He later starred as a cop in Saravana Sakthi’s Nayagan, starring Ramana, Keerthi Chawla, and Sangeetha. The movie performed moderately. After this, he announced other projects and began work on Thillu Mullu, a second film with Chinni Jayanth, Deivamagan, and his home production Thalapathy. These films could not be completed due to various reasons.

In 2010, he made a cameo in Pen Singam, and this year he returned to acting with LKG. In an interview with The New Indian Express, he said that he did not think of LKG as his comeback, and was not sure if this would be the start of his second innings in films. He said he thought the film was an interesting one. “In real life, the impact of memes and social media is influencing votes. LKG is a film that looks to question this practice, and implores the audience to make an informed decision about whom to vote for.”

Rithesh has been a member of both Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) during his political years. He began his career with the DMK, and in 2009 he was elected as an MP in the 15th Lok Sabha from Ramanathapuram constituency. He defeated AIADMK member Satiyamoorthy by a significant margin. In 2014, he joined the AIADMK as a member.

During his political career, he has been the center of a few controversies and was also arrested in relation to a land grabbing case in 2011. This was when the ruling AIADMK government launched a crackdown on land grabbing, arresting several DMK leaders, MLAs, and ministers.

Rithesh was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 1973 and he migrated to Rameswaram in 1976, where he was brought up. He got married to Jotheeswari in 2007 and is survived by her and their son Arik Roshan.

Several celebrities from the film industry mourned his death. RJ Balaji, Priya Anand expressed their shock over his death and said that he was a generous man.

The ADMK also issued a statement condoling his death

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