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Karunanidhi a ‘medical miracle’, say DMK workers praying for his recovery outside Chennai hospital

DMK party president M Karunanidhi has been under critical care at Kauvery hospital in Chennai for the past two days. Doctors said his health suffered a setback on Sunday.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2018 20:18 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Chennai
Karunanidhi,DMK,Kauvery hospital
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supporters outside Kauvery hospital where party chief M Karunanidhi is being treated, in Chennai on July 30, 2018. (PTI)

Emotions are oscillating between hope and despair for hundreds of DMK supporters outside Chennai’s Kauvery Hospital, praying for the life of party chief M Karunanidhi, who has been in the intensive care unit since early Saturday.

A group of party workers and supporters of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has formed a circle at the entrance of the hospital, holding a white banner proclaiming the 94-year-old leader as a “medical miracle” and wishing that he come back home soon.

“They (the hospital) said it was a set back, but he defied all odds and improved...for his age it is a medical miracle....he will continue to repeat the miracle and get better,” says Balu from Tiruchirappalli district, proudly pointing to the framed photograph of Karunanidhi and MK Stalin, his son and heir apparent, that he wears in a necklace.

Wearing a black-red turban – the colour of the party flag, the DMK worker from the Cauvery delta district stood in the middle of the circle, chanting slogans hailing his leader. Some in the group break down, but all hope he would be back home soon.

Some party supporters were seen beating their chests, while a few got their heads shaved to seek divine intervention so their leader gets well soon.

While they’re screaming one moment, tears rolling down their cheeks, in another they burst into frenzied sloganeering, hailing the fighting spirit of their Thalaivar (leader).

A glum-faced Chellamma, 84, who has come from Ambasamudram in distant Tirunelveli, sits quietly on the pavement outside the hospital. She has come here to pray for her leader. “It is despairing to see Thalaivar is not as robust as before,” she says.

The Eldams Road junction, where the hospital is located, has turned into a huge makeshift camp for party supporters and workers.

Among them are people like Baskaran, a long-time vendor of party souvenirs like photographs of Karunanidhi and Stalin, and Thillainayagam, a Tamil teacher from Nagapattinam.

While some sit quietly or sleep on the pavement waiting for the good news, some senior citizens could be seen talking animatedly about Karunanidhi and his achievements.

Motorists can be seen stopping on the flyover abutting the road for a glimpse of the scenes unfolding in front of the hospital.

DMK workers in party uniform – red shirt and black trousers – are seen assisting the police in regulating the milling crowd. But despite their efforts to keep things under control, some patients and attendants complained about difficulty in reaching the facility because of the multitude.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 20:07 IST