DMK chief M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key constituent of the ruling UPA coalition at the Centre, turned 89 on Sunday.
Keeping to his customary style, the DMK patriarch was up early and started the day by planting a sapling to mark his birthday even as scores of supporters thronged his CIT Colony residence, which was all decked up for the occasion.
He later paid homage at the memorials of his mentors, DMK founder CN Annadurai and Dravidar Kazhagam founder EV Ramasamy here.
The birthday celebrations are seen as an attempt to rejuvenate DMK workers smarting from the party's poor show in the April 2011 assembly polls even as DMK is stung by differences among rival camps headed by Karunanidhi's sons, MK Alagiri and MK Stalin.
The cloud of 2G spectrum allocation, in which Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi and junior colleague and former telecom minister A Raja are accused, also hangs over the Dravidian party.