M Karunanidhi passes away

Clay Curtis
August 7, 2018

A controversy erupted in Tamil Nadu today as the state government denied land on Chennai's Marina beach for the burial of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) patriarch M Karunanidhi who passed away at a Chennai hospital.

The funeral is due to take place on Wednesday (Aug 8) and the state government has declared a seven-day mourning period.

Family members of Karunanidhi led by DMK working president M K Stalin met Chief Minister K Palaniswami and sought space near Annadurai's memorial for burying Karunanidhi's body.

Even at 92 Karunanidhi hoped to have another shot at the Chief Minister's chair during the 2016 elections refusing to make way for his son Stalin.

The 94-year-old politician breathed his last at Chennai's Kauvery Hospital on Tuesday.

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Meanwhile, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari is set to visit Kauvery Hospital later tonight to enquire the health condition of Karunanidhi.

Karunanidhi was chief minister of Tamil Nadu five times and successfully contested 12 state elections, building legions of supporters on the way. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond. Kalaignar, as he is known, had entered politics full-time after a flouring career as a script writer. The movie did not just have an vast impact on Tamil cinema, but also enormously influenced Tamil Nadu's political scene. Later, he founded Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram. Chants of "Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa" (Awake, our leader) and "Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa" (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) could be heard outside the hospital.

In a public career spanning nearly seven decades, Karunanidhi donned several hats.

President Ram Nath Kovind said of the veteran leader that as "as a contributor to the development of Tamil Nadu and of India, he has few peers". After Jayalalitha's death and Karunanidhi's demise, there will be a vacuum left in Tamil Nadu politics.

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. Later, the party was split and actor-cum-politician M G Ramachandran formed a new party under the name All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

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