AIADMK leader and Tamil film actor JK Rithesh died on Saturday due to a sudden cardiac arrest while he was engaged in election-related work, the party said.

The 46-year old former Lok Sabha MP from Ramanathapuram died after he suffered a heart attack while attending to poll-related work in Ramanathapuram district and despite being rushed to a hospital, the AIADMK said.

Rithesh, alias Shivakumkar, the AIADMK’s MGR youth wing deputy secretary, joined the party in the presence of late J Jayalalithaa in 2014. A former loyalist of expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri, the politician had also acted in some Telugu and Tamil films, including Nayagan. He was last seen in the recently released RJ Balaji starrer LKG.

Rithesh was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha (2009) from Ramanathapuram constituency and was among the noted leaders of the AIADMK in the southern district of Ramanathapuram.

Party top leaders O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami in a release here said they were deeply grieved to learn of his demise and conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family. They lauded Rithesh for his party work with loyalty to the party high command.

DMK chief MK Stalin expressed shock and grief over the sudden death of his former party colleague. He said though Rithesh joined AIADMK, he had continued his friendly ties with the party.