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Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah, other leaders pay tribute to Karunanidhi

The 94-year-old DMK patriarch and five-time chief minister M Karunanidhi passed away after a prolonged illness at 6:10 pm in Chennai.

india Updated: Aug 07, 2018 20:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Karunanidhi passed away,Karunanidhi died,Karunanidhi death today
DMK chief M Karunanidhi passed away on Tuesday after a prolonged illness at a Chennai hospital where he was admitted for some days. (PTI File Photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led several leaders in paying tributes to veteran Tamil Nadu politician M Karunanidhi who passed away in a Chennai hospital on Tuesday.

The 94-year-old DMK patriarch and five-time chief minister passed away after a prolonged illness at 6.10 pm in Chennai.

President Kovind said India had become poorer as Karunanidhi had few peers as a contributor to the development of Tamil Nadu and India.

Prime Minister Modi recalled Karunanidhi’s commitment to “regional aspirations” and “Tamil welfare”, and expressed condolences to the late leader’s family.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami, who is of the AIADMK, an archrival of Karunanidhi’s DMK, noted that the former chief minister had contributed to the fields of politics, cinema and literature.

Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, whose party is an ally of Karunanidhi’s DMK, said “India has lost a great son” who was “loved by the Tamilian people”.

“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,’ Gandhi said.

BJP president Amit Shah expressed sadness at the death of the veteran politician and said, “No one can forget his struggle during Emergency, imposed in 1975.”

In the last few days, several leaders had met Karunanidhi at Kauvery hospital in Chennai where he was undergoing treatment.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee noted that Karunanidhi had influenced state and national politics like no other.

Actor-politician Rajinikanth called the day a black one in his life, “one which I can never forget as I lost my Kalaignar (Artiste, as Karunanidhi is often referred to)”. “I pray for his soul,” Rajinikanth told media persons in Chennai.

US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster too joined the leaders in paying tributes.

Calling him one of the greats of Indian politics, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Karunanidhi was a man of letters who enriched the Tamil language with poems, novels, screenplays and plays.

Cricketers Ashwin Ravichandran and Virender Sehwag too expressed their grief over the demise of the leader.

Several other political leaders remembered Karunanidhi and posted pictures of their association with him on social media.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 20:10 IST