DMK chief Karunanidhi passes away; leaves behind rich legacy

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New Delhi:

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) founding leader and five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi passed away at 06:10 pm on Tuesday at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai. He was 94 years old. Hearing the news of Karunanidhi's death, thousands of his supporters gathered outside the hospital and mourned the great loss to his people and party.

"M Karunanidhi passes away," the Kauvery Hospital stated in its latest press release.

"With deep anguish, we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar Dr M Karunanidhi on 07.08.2018 at 06:10 PM. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond," the release from the hospital read.

"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," the release added.

#FLASH M Karunanidhi passes away, Kauvery hospital releases statement pic.twitter.com/gUpZgYnPiY

— ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2018

Meanwhile, social media has been flooded with a series of condolence messages as the DMK chief's demise left his followers and colleagues in a state of shock.

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Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised".

"Loved by the Tamilian people, Kalaignar strode the stage of Tamil politics, like a colossus, for over 6 decades. In his passing, India has lost a great son. My condolences to his family as also to the millions of Indians who grieve for their beloved leader tonight," Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

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Karunanidhi, one of the tallest leaders of Tamil Nadu, was admitted to the city hospital following a dip in his blood pressure on July 28. Initially, the leader was stable and recovering well but later suffered a sharp decline in his health condition on Monday.

Meanwhile, thousands of DMK cadres continued to throng the Chennai hospital premises, from where Karunanidhi's body will be taken to his Gopalapuram residence. The late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's body was also placed at the Rajaji Hall.

While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already arrived at Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence, leaders of several political parties, including PM Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will reach Chennai on Wednesday to bid adieu to the DMK stalwart.

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Karunanidhi is survived by his two wives –Dayalu, Rajathi- sons M K Muthu, Alagiri, Stalin, M K Tamilarasu and daughters S Selvi and Kanimozhi and grandchildren.

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