N Maheswaran, chosen for the Namakkal seat in western Tamil Nadu, quit the fray citing ill-health and has been admitted to a private hospital in Coimbatore, party sources said. He has conveyed his decision to the party high command, they said.
However, the actor-politician will go ahead with his campaign, they said adding he "will take the final call" when asked if the party would nominate someone else. Maheswaran was one of the five candidates unilaterally announced by Vijayakant for the Lok Sabha elections last week even as his party was engaged in seat-sharing talks with BJP.
A former deputy secretary of the DMDK students' wing, Maheswaran had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Namakkal. The BJP has formed an alliance in the state with DMDK, MDMK, PMK, IJK and Kongu party, though the number of seats to be shared by the allies is yet to be announced amid rival claims for a few seats.