Five-time TN CM Karunanidhi passes away at 94

DMK supporters gather outside the hospital where party chief M Karunanidhi is being treated, in Chennai. (PTI File Photo)

M Karunanidhi, the charismatic five-time chief minister and the oldest political leader in India who ruled the political arena for more than six decades fighting for regional aspirations, died in Chennai on Tuesday, leaving a huge political vacuum in Tamil Nadu.
 
Karunanidhi,94, breathed his last at the ICU of the Kauvery Hospital, where he was admitted on July 28 due to a drop in blood pressure, at 6.10 pm despite efforts to resuscitate him.
 
“With deep anguish, we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar Dr M Karunanidhi on 07.08.2018 at 6.10 pm. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond. We profoundly mourn the loss of one of the tallest leaders of India and we share the grief of family members and fellow Tamilians worldwide,” Dr Aravindan Selvaraj, executive director, Kauvery Hospital, announced in a statement.

 

 

The DMK chief, who is survived by two wives Dayalau and Rajathi and four sons and two daughters – M K Muthu, M K Alagiri, M K Stalin, M K Thamizharasu, Selvi and Kanimozhi - was confined to his home since October 2016, except for his hospital visits every six months to change his tracheostomy tube.
 
Karunanidhi’s health condition witnessed a decline on July 26 and he was admitted to the hospital on July 28. Though his condition stabilised after a few days, it deteriorated over the weekend due to age-related illness – the hospital for the first time on Monday evening acknowledged that maintaining his vital organ functions was becoming a challenge for them.
 
An indication that the battle was lost and hopes began fading of a recovery came at around 4.30 pm when the hospital issued a statement saying that Karunanidhi was “extremely critical and unstable.” 
 
A political veteran, Karunanidhi was one of the most respected national leaders having taken to politics at a young age of 14. Groomed into politics by Dravidian stalwarts like 'Periyar' E V Ramasamy and C N Annadurai, Karunanidhi’s claim to fame in politics was his stringent anti-Hindi stance till his last days.
 
Though often ignored by the national media, Karunanidhi ensured that the DMK, which he took over in 1969 after the death of his mentor Annadurai, played a crucial role in the formation of alternative fronts at the Centre – National Front (1989) and United Front (1996).

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Five-time TN CM Karunanidhi passes away at 94

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