Row over burial site for Karunanidhi; DMK moves Madras HC

#JustIn: Kaliagnar M. Karunanidhi Passes Away At 94

The medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital said, "There has been a decline in the medical condition of DMK president and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond", said a release by Chennai's Kauvery Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.

He was admitted to the hospital for a dip in his blood pressure, which seems to have stabilised now.

Thousands of his supporters gathered outside the hospital in Chennai to mourn his demise, as scores of policemen kept watch. Of the 15 elections held in Tamil Nadu since Independence, the DMK veteran faced 13 and lost none.

The DMK chief was admitted to the hospital for the first time on July 18 for change of tracheostomy tube.

Born in the backward Isai Vellala community in the obscure village of Thirukuvalai in Thanjavur district to Muthuvel and Anjugam on June 3, 1924, he has climbed up a hard ladder to rise as one of the towering personalities in Indian politics.

Karunanidhi, a former scriptwriter in the Tamil film industry, has served as the state's chief minister five times in the past. For the past few years, Karunanidhi was confined to a wheelchair. Mr Karunanidhi's DMK swept the election, riding a wave of anti-incumbency.

Karunanidhi, a school dropout, became involved in politics at a young age, spearheading the DMK which was allied for many years to the Gandhi dynasty's Congress party.

Karunanidhi's predecessor Annadurai was also in office when he died. That was the impact he has created on Tamil Nadu politics in his eight-decade-long political career.

He was arrested by the police in 2001, when Jayalalithaa was chief minister, over alleged corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai. One Dravida party, AIADMK, is already weakened by succession trouble.

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

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