Published: Tue, August 07, 2018

Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

The DMK will now be led by M.K. Stalin, Karunanidhi's son and successor. The Kauvery Hospital, where the 94-year-old leader was admitted, said in a statement: "Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond". "His response to medical interventions over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis", it said.

Later, on July 31 the hospital indicated that Karunanidhi may have to have an extended stay at the hospital due to age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters.

As the news of M Karunanidhi's death broke, hundreds of distraught Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) workers crowded outside the Hospital and even more from other parts of the state made their way to the capital to pay their respects to the late leader.

Expressing her sorrow, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, "He was a great leader, who worked for the downtrodden". Narendra Modi called the maverick politician a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker and an accomplished writer.

"He strived for the development of Tamil Nadu throughout his life and built a stronghold for regional party DMK".

The transition from Annadurai to Karunanidhi is a rallying point not just for the DMK, but also for the state's politics.

His popularity rivalled that of J. Jayalalithaa, another powerful leader from Tamil Nadu whose death sparked a huge outpouring of grief. Born in Thirukkuvalai village in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi was interested in drama, poetry and literature in his childhood. "My condolences to his family as also to the millions of Indians who grieve for their beloved leader tonight", he tweeted.

Few years further down the line he would win his first election, entering the legislative Assembly in 1957.

1959: DMK founder C N Annadurai honours Karunanidhi for steering DMK to victory in Madras Corporation elections. In 2016, DMK became the largest Opposition party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

July 27, 1969: Elected as President of DMK, a post he held till the end. Following the death of Annadurai in 1969, he took over as leader of the DMK and as chief minister, a post he would hold for almost 18 years over five separate terms. He was also instrumental in constructing a 133-foot-high statue of Thiruvalluvar, the famous poet, in Kanyakumari.

This has not gone down well with the DMK cadres as well as the majority of people of TN.

CHENNAI:Dr.M Karunanidhi passed away at 94 on Tuesday.

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