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Tamil Nadu

DMK leaders pledge support to Stalin

M K Stalin
M K Stalin
Top DMK leaders on Tuesday made it clear that they and the party were solidly behind its Working President M.K. Stalin, whose father and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi died a week ago.
 
An emergency meeting of the Executive Committee was called at the DMK headquarters here with a single agenda - to pass a resolution condoling the death of DMK President Karunanidhi.
 
The meeting was chaired by Stalin, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
 
After the passage of the condolence resolution that praised Karunanidhi and listed his numerous achievements, party leaders including Duraimurugan, T. R. Baalu and others expressed their support to Stalin and urged him to take over the party's mantle.
 
"Working President and soon-to-become President, lead us and we will obey your orders," Duraimurugan thundered.
 
Addressing the gathering, former Union Minister Baalu said in a quivering voice: "The commander of the army is no more. Nobody has to tell who will be the next commander. Stalin has all the qualities to lead."
 
Several District Secretaries of the party also voiced their staunch support to Stalin as the party's top leader.
 
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On his part, a normally clean shaven Stalin, sporting an unshaven face, said: "I have lost not only my leader but also my father."
 
Opening up on the subject publicly for the first time, he said he had pleaded with Chief Minister K. Palaniswami to allot space at the Marina beach to bury Karunanidhi.
 
"I held the hands of the Chief Minister and pleaded for space. They did not agree."
 
After the announcement of Karunanidhi's death at 6.10 p.m. on August 7, the government issued a statement formally refusing a burial space at Marina.
 
Praising the DMK's legal team led by T. Wilson, Stalin said they approached the Madras High Court late at night and won the case the next day.
 
Stalin said had the case been lost, a situation would have arisen leading to his own burial next to Karunanidhi.
 
Tuesday's meeting came a day after expelled DMK leader M.K. Alagiri, Stalin's elder brother, asserted that "true loyalists" of Karunanidhi were with him and that Stalin was a poor leader.
 
Paying homage to Karunanidhi, Alagiri, expelled from the DMK in 2014 for criticizing party leaders, told reporters that he had poured his anguish about the party to his father and not about his family.
 
But as expected, the Executive Committee lined up behind Stalin.
 
The elevation of Stalin as the party President will have to be decided by the DMK's General Council. The party has not announced a date for a General Council meeting.
 
IANS
 

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DMK Executive Committee pledges support to Stalin

The DMK's Executive Committee on Tuesday made it clear that the party was solidly behind its Working President M.K. Stalin.
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The DMK's Executive Committee on Tuesday made it clear that the party was solidly behind its Working President M.K. Stalin.
 
The urgent meeting of the Executive Committee was called at the DMK headquarters here to adopt a resolution condoling the death of party President and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidi.
 
The meeting was chaired by Stalin, who is also the Leader of the Oppositon in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
 
After the passage of the condolence resolution, speaker after speaker including leaders like Duraimurugan, T.R. Baalu and others expressed their support to Stalin and urged him to take over the party's mantle.
 
"Working President, lead us as the party President," Duraimurugan said to cheers.
 
Addressing the gathering, former Union Minister Baalu said in a quivering voice: "The commander of the army is no more. Nobody has to tell who will be the next commander. Stalin has all the qualities to lead."
 
IANS

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Alagiri targets Stalin, days after their father Karunanidhi's death

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Six days after the death of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, his elder son and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri on Monday asserted that "true loyalists" of his late father were with him and that his brother M.K. Stalin was a poor leader.
 
Paying homage to Karunanidhi at his memorial at the Marina Beach here, Alagiri, who was expelled from the DMK in 2014 for criticizing party leaders, told reporters that he had poured his anguish about the party to his father.
 
He said his anguish was about the party and not about the family and the public would come to know the whole story at the appropriate time.
 
Alagiri declined to comment about the DMK's Executive Committee meeting to be held here on Tuesday, stating that he was no more in the party.
 
Alagiri aspired to succeed to the DMK's top post but Karunanidhi, the DMK President until his death, picked his other son Stalin to lead the party and designated him the Working President.
 
Once considered a strongman from Madurai, Alagiri told CNN News18 that he was the right person to head the DMK and alleged that Stalin was the "Working President" of the party but was not working. 
 
Alagiri added that he was not happy with the way the party was being run. On being asked if there would be a split in the DMK, Alagiri replied how could he split the party when he was not in it in the first place. 
 
Asked if he would do better than Stalin if given an opportunity, Alagiri told CNN: "Definitely, that is what the cadres also want."
 
IANS
 

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DMK's true loyalists with me: Alagiri

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Former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri on Monday claimed that "true loyalists" of M. Karunanidhi, his father and the late DMK President, were with him.
 
Paying homage to Karunanidhi at his memorial at the Marina Beach here, Alagiri, who was expelled from the DMK in 2014 for criticizing party leaders, told reporters that he poured his anguish about the party to his father.
 
He said his anguish was about the party and not about the family and the public would come to know the whole story at the appropriate time.
 
Alagiri declined to comment about the DMK's Executive Committee meeting to be held here on Tuesday, stating that he was no more in the party.
 
Alagiri aspired to succeed to the DMK's top post but Karunanidhi, when he was alive, preferred his other son M.K. Stalin over the former.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Karunanidhi laid to rest on Marina by his mentor's side

DMK patriarch and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was buried beside his mentor C.N. Annadurai on the sands of Marina beach in Chennai on Wednesday as lakhs of commoners wept, pushed and jostled for space to bid adieu to their leader.
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
DMK patriarch and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was buried beside his mentor C.N. Annadurai on the sands of Marina beach here on Wednesday after his party clinched a midnight legal battle as lakhs of commoners wept, pushed and jostled for space to bid adieu to their leader, causing a stampede that killed two mourners and injured many.
 
The leader of the DMK for 50 long years and without doubt one of India's most experienced politicians, Karunanidhi breathed his last owing to age-related ailments in a private hospital here on Tuesday evening. There was a complete shutdown in the city and across the state. The government declared a public holiday today as a mark of respect to Karunanidhi.
 
After a two-hour funeral procession covering a distance of less than 3 km headed by the late leader's son and DMK Working President M.K. Stalin wound its way from Rajaji Hall to the Marina shores, the tri-colour wrapped body with his trademark black shades and yellow stole still intact was interred in a freshly dug grave with soldiers giving him a state funeral with full military honours.
 
A military band played "Honouring Those Who Served" as the casket was taken from the cortege to the grave. Buglers sounded the last post and gunners fired a 21-gun salute after the body of the 94-year-old five-time Chief Minister was lowered at 7 p.m. amid a crescendo of slogans. 
 
As Karunanidhi's body on a flower-decked military vehicle began its last journey from Rajaji Hall, tens of thousands of emotionally-charged men and women lined up on both sides of the road to Marina, shouting slogans hailing the departed leader for his services to the poor and the downtrodden.
 
In keeping with his rationalist beliefs, Karunanidhi's body in a sandalwood casket was lowered into the earth without religious rituals. As per his wish, the words -- "The person who had worked without rest is resting here" -- were sculpted on the casket.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and a galaxy of national opposition leaders joined the sea of mourners from across Tamil Nadu who swelled outside Rajaji Hall where the body was kept since morning for public homage.
 
Those who paid last respects included Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal ledear Tejashwi Yadav, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, his predecessor Prakash Karat, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayansamy, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 
 
Some of the leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Naidu, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Azad and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien joined the top party leaders, including 95-year-old DMK General Secretary K. Anbalagan, and members of Karunanidhi family at the burial site. 
 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flew into Chennai on Tuesday night and visited Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence here to pay her last respects. 
 
Stalin greeted the leaders as the procession reached its destination. Union Ministers Pon Radhakrishnan and Ramdas Athawle were also present. Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar represented the AIADMK government.
 
 
Karunanidhi's final journey
 
 
Stalin and his sister Selvi broke down and cried inconsolably at the Marina beach before the body of the patriarch was interred. Stalin had wept in the morning too after the DMK won the legal battle for a burial place space.
 
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy, his deputy O. Panneerselvam and a number of cabinet ministers also placed wreaths and paid homage at Rajaji Hall in the morning even as a legal battle was on against the AIADMK government's order allotting a burial place for Karunanidhi on Sardar Patel road.
 
After a long, midnight hearing, a two-judge bench of the Madras High Court headed by acting Chief Justice H. Ramesh rejected the government's contention and permitted the burial on the Marina beach. It also asked the government to take all steps to assist in the process.
 
A bevy of personalities from the entertainment world, including superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan and yesteryear stars, paid their respects to a leader who was long associated with the cinema through his powerful dialogue writing and screenplay scripting.
 
Chaos struck near Rajaji Hall, the British-built banquet hall in the sprawling government estate, where lakhs gathered eager to have a last glimpse of the leader. Their attempts to get near the casket resulted in commotion. Police used force to bring the situation under control but two people, including a 60-year-old-woman, lost their lives in the stampede. At least 35 people were injured.
 
Modi, who flew from Delhi in a special plane in the morning, laid a wreath on the body at Rajaji Hall. After going around the casket, the Prime Minister patted Stalin and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, an MP, and comforted them with words of solace. The Prime Minister later tweeted that though Karunanidhi "is dead, he lives in the heart of crores of people."
 
In Delhi, as the two Houses of Parliament paid homage to the last link of the Dravidian era and adjourned for the day, the central government observed a day of national mourning. The national flag flew half-mast and all government functions were cancelled.
 
IANS

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Karunanidhi's final journey begins in Chennai

DMK President and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday began his final journey on a flower-decked military vehicle from Rajaji Hall where his body was lying in state since early in the morning.
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
DMK President and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday began his final journey on a flower-decked military vehicle from Rajaji Hall where his body was lying in state since early in the morning.
 
Karunanidhi had passed away at the Kauvery Hospital here on Tuesday evening at the age of 94.
 
The tri-colour covered body of the 94-year-old veteran politician was put on a military vehicle by military personnel shortly before 4 p.m.
 
Karunanidhi's body will be interred in a sandalwood casket and lowered into the earth at Marina Beach.
 
As per Karunanidhi's wish, the wordings -- "The person who had worked without rest is resting here" -- was sculpted on the casket.
 
DMK leader and Karunanidhi's son M.K. Stalin, accompanied by party leaders, walked ahead of the military vehicle as the funeral procession made slow progress, with thousands crowding the streets.
 
Many waved DMK's red-and-black flags and flashed pictures of Karunanidhi.
 
The DMK leader's final resting place will be near his mentor and DMK founder and former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.
 
The Madras High Court on Wednesday gave its nod for the burial of Karunanidhi at Marina Beach after a legal battle. The government had initially refused permission. 
 
Karunanidhi, who led the DMK for the past five decades, was the Chief Minister for 19 years spread over five tenures.
 
The DMK had earlier said the vehicle carrying Karunanidhi's body will reach Anna Square on the Marina Beach, covering a distance of less than three kilometres.
 
Stalin has appealed to people to keep calm during the final journey. Shortly afterwards, two persons were killed in a stampede outside Rajaji Hall.
 
IANS

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Two dead, 35 injured in Chennai stampede

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Two persons were killed and 35 suffered minor injuries on Wednesday in a stampede outside the Rajaji Hall here as hundreds of thousands thronged for a final glimpse of DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, a hospital official said.
 
A senior official of the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital told IANS: "Two persons were brought dead to the hospital with injuries arising due to trampling. One is a woman, Shanbagam, while the other person is an unidentified male."
 
The dead woman was said to be 60 years old. 
 
The official added that another 35 persons were brought to the hospital with minor injuries. Some were dehydrated. They were given treatment.
 
"There has been heavy jostling and pushing and pulling in the crowd since morning," one man at the site said, explaining what led to the stampede.
 
The tragedy occurred shortly after DMK leader and Karunanidhi's son M.K. Stalin appealed for calm to the milling crowds which were getting restive at not being able to get close to the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's body.
 
IANS
 

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Modi pays tributes to Karunanidhi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid homage to late DMK President M. Karunanidhi after laying a wreath on his body that was lying in state at Rajaji Hall here.
 
Arriving here by a special flight, Modi reached the government estate and paid his respects to the late former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
 
After going around the casket in which the body lay wrapped in the tri-color, the Prime Minister patted M.K. Stalin, Karunanidhi's son and political heir, and his daughter Kanimozhi, MP, and comforted them with words of solace.
 
After exchanging a few words with them, Modi also comforted other family members and left the place. 
 
Modi, in November last year, visited the Gopalapuram residence of Karunanidhi and urged him to come to the Prime Minister's official residence in Delhi for medical care if he wanted.
 
Though the Prime Minister's visit was acknowledged as a political nicety in deference to the senior-most political leader of the country, observers also feel it could send signals to the DMK ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the state where uncertainty clouds the political scene.
 
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and state BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan. Sitharaman also comforted Stalin and Kanimozhi.
 
Modi also greeted with folded hands the crowd of mourners who shouted to acknowledge his atrrival. Stalin and other DMK leaders saw him off.
 
IANS

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Madras HC allows Karunanidhi to be buried at Marina Beach

After an overnight drama, the DMK won a legal battle on Wednesday when the Madras High Court allowed the burial of DMK President and five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi at Marina Beach in the city.
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
After an overnight drama, the DMK won a legal battle on Wednesday when the Madras High Court allowed the burial of DMK President and five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi  at Marina Beach in the city.
 
Karunanidhi passed away at the Kauvery Hospital here on Tuesday evening at the age of 94.
 
The High Court bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S.S. Sundar turned down the arguments of the state government against the burial of Karunanidhi's body at Marina Beach.
 
DMK leader and lawyer Kannadasan told reporters that the court also asked the government to make arrangements for the burial.
 
The party cadres and leaders assembled at Rajaji Hall, where Karunanidhi's body has been lying in state for public homage, erupted in joy on hearing the news.
 
An emotional M.K. Stalin, DMK's Working President and son of Karunanidhi, broke down on hearing the news and so did top leaders including Duraimurugan, A.Raja and K. Kanimozhi, who is also Karunanidhi's daughter.
 
Duraimurugan and A. Raja comforted Stalin and other family members including former Union Minister and Karunanidhi's grand nephew Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi.
 
Earlier, all the petitioners who had filed a case against the memorial for AIADMK's late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said they are withdrawing their petitions and the court dismissed their pleas.
 
The DMK wanted Karunanidhi to be interred near the seafront memorial of DMK founder and Karunanidhi's mentor C.N. Annadurai.
 
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The DMK approached the Madras High Court on Tuesday night after the state government declined their request. The hearing went on till midnight when the court adjourned the case directing the state government and Chennai Corporation to file their affidavits on Wednesday.
 
The AIADMK government late on Tuesday rejected the request and asked the DMK to bury Karunanidhi on Sardar Patel Road which is home to memorials dedicated to Rajaji (C. Rajagopalachari) and K. Kamaraj.
 
The court asked the government counsel to explain the legal issues in allotting space at Marina Beach as mentioned in the statement issued by the government on Tuesday.
 
The DMK counsel argued that the government is citing minor issues for rejecting the party's request for space at Marina Beach for burying Karunanidhi.
 
The DMK said Karunanidhi is an ardent follower of party founder and Annadurai. Since AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran was also a follower of Annadurai he was buried near the latter's memorial.
 
According to DMK, the ideologies of late Congress leaders like Rajagopalachari and Kamaraj are different from that of what was followed by Dravidian leaders like Annadurai and Karunanidhi.
 
Hence it will not be appropriate to bury Karunanidhi at the site offered by the state government.
 
The DMK also argued that the Chennai Corporation has announced the Annadurai memorial Beach as a burial site.
 
IANS

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Nation pays homage to Karunanidhi amid legal battle

Tens of thousands of emotionally charged people from all over Tamil Nadu on Wednesday paid homage to DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi even as his party battled legally with the state government for a burial place for him at the Marina Beach here.
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
Tens of thousands of emotionally charged people from all over Tamil Nadu on Wednesday paid homage to DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi even as his party battled legally with the state government for a burial place for him at the Marina Beach here.
 
Led by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, DMK members, leaders and people from all walks of life -- VIPs and others --filed past the mortal remains of Karunanidhi at the Rajaji Hall in the heart of Chennai.
 
A legal battle reigned in the residence-court of Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice S.S. Sundar, on where Karunanidhi, 94, who died on Tuesday evening should be buried. 
 
The DMK wants him interred near the seafront memorial of DMK founder and Karunanidhi's mentor C. N. Annadurai. 
 
The DMK approached the Madras High Court on Tuesday night. The hearing went on till midnight when the court adjourned the case directing the state government and Chennai Corporation to file their affidavits on Wednesday.
 
The AIADMK government late on Tuesday rejected the request and asked the DMK to bury Karunanidhi on Sardar Patel Road which is home to memorials dedicated to Rajaji (C. Rajagopalachari) and K. Kamaraj.
 
While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flew into Chennai on Tuesday night, a host of national leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are expected to arrive here on Wednesday to attend the last rites.
 
Early on Wednesday Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam along with people from different walks of life -- leaders, actors, industrialists and others -- paid homage to their departed leader. Purohit also had a few words with Karunanidhi's son and DMK leader M.K. Stalin.
 
Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal, Minister for Fisheries D. Jayakumar, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai and other party leaders also paid homage to Karunanidhi.
 
Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth also paid his respects and consoled the family members of the DMK patriarch. Industrialists Venu Srinivasan and Mallika Srinivasan were some of the others who paid their respects and also consoled the family members.
 
Chief Minister for five times and leader of DMK party for 50 years, the 94-year-old breathed his last owing to age-related ailments in a private hospital here on Tuesday evening.
 
His mortal remains were brought to the Rajaji Hall early on Wednesday after it was taken to his homes at Gopalapuram here and at CIT Colony for relatives and leaders to pay their last respects.
 
The veteran politician's body was covered with the national flag.
 
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On Tuesday, the Union Home Ministry in a statement said the Trocolour will fly half-mast on Wednesday as a mark of respect to the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
 
"It has also been decided to accord state funeral to the departed soul. The funeral will take place in Chennai on Wednesday and the government of India will observe one-day state mourning throughout the country. 
 
"There will be no official entertainment on the day," the Home Ministry statement said.
 
Leaders of the DMK party have assembled at the Rajaji Hall. A large number of people have gathered outside to pay their last respects to the iconic leader.
 
Outside the hall, DMK party cadres are shouting "Marina Vendum, Marina Vendum "(want Marina) referring to the party's request for a burial site at Marina Beach here, which was turned down by the state government on Tuesday.
 
Acting Chief Justice Ramesh and Justice Sundar are hearing the matter and will settle the issue on Wednesday morning.
 
Normally busy roads wore a deserted look and many shops have downed their shutters.
 
The Tamil Nadu government has announced a holiday for schools and state government offices and undertakings on Wednesday as a mark of respect for Karunanidhi.
 
Private bus operators have stopped their services to and from Chennai till Wednesday evening. However people from different parts of the state are reaching Chennai using other modes of transport.
 
IANS
 

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Karunanidhi's body kept at Rajaji Hall for public, leaders to pay respects

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A large number of people have gathered outside the Rajaji Hall here to pay their last respects to DMK President M.Karunanidhi, who died on Tuesday evening due to age related ailments.
 
The mortal remains of Karunanidhi were brought to Rajaji Hall early on Wednesday after it was taken to his homes at Gopalapuram here and at CIT Colony for relatives and leaders to pay their last respects to the departed leader.
 
A Chief Minister for five times, the 94-year old veteran politician Karunanidhi's body is covered with the national flag.
 
Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth paid his respects to Karunanidhi and consoled the family members of the DMK leader.
 
Leaders of DMK party have assembled at Rajaji Hall.
 
IANS
 

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Madras High Court to decide on burial site for Karunanidhi's body

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The Madras High Court will on Wednesday morning decide on the DMK's plea against the Tamil Nadu's government's decision to deny burial of party President M. Karunanidhi's body at Marina Beach.
 
Hearing the plea late Tuesday night, the court directed the state government and the Chennai Corporation to file their replies and adjourned the case to Wednesday morning 8 a.m.
 
At the hearing the state government had opposed the allotment of space at Marina Beach for burial of Karunanidhi's body.
 
On Tuesday, the DMK party and family members of Karunanidhi had requested the state government for allotment of space near DMK founder C.N. Annadurai's memorial at the Marina Beach.
 
Citing pending cases against the burial of bodies at the Marina Beach, the AIADMK government had said it was ready to allot two acres near Gandhi Mandapam on Sardar Patel Road where Raj Bhavan is located.
 
On Tuesday, the government decision drew flak from leaders cutting across party lines including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, MDMK's Vaiko, DMDK's Vijayakanth and PMK's S. Ramadoss, who favoured a memorial on the Marina Beach. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and the CPI(M) also joined the chorus.
 
Ramadoss urged the ruling party not to indulge in politics in this matter, saying the reason stated by the government is not acceptable.
 
Ramadoss said even when AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa was buried at the Marina Beach there were court cases pending. Her body was buried at the Marina Beach within the memorial of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran.
 
He said Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for 19 years and his last rites should be done in a decent manner.
 
The mortal remains of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran and his successor Jayalalithaa are buried near Annadurai's memorial on the Marina Beach.
 
A five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi died after battling age-related ailments at Kauvery Hospital on Tuesday evening.
 
IANS
 

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Chennai bus operators, theatres cancel services on Wednesday

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Private bus operators have decided to stop their services to and from Chennai till Wednesday evening as large numbers of passengers have cancelled their tickets and also as a precautionary measure, said an office-bearer of All Omni Bus Operators Association.
 
"About 75-85 per cent of the passengers decided to cancel their tickets on Wednesday. As a result, the bus operators have decided to cancel the services to and from Chennai till 6 p.m tomorrow (Thursday)," A. Anbalagan, general secretary, All Omni Bus Operators Association told IANS.
 
According to him, about 1,000 private buses are operated out of Chennai to other parts of Tamil Nadu.
 
About 10,000 passengers use the private buses to and from Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, he said.
 
Theatre owners have cancelled shows starting tonight and said ticket rates would be refunded.
 
Following Karunanidhi's death, several shops in different parts of the state downed their shutters.
 
Former Chief Minister and DMK President M.Karunanidhi breathed his last here at Kauvery Hospital where he was admitted on July 28.
 
IANS
 

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Karunanidhi's mortal remains to be taken to his Gopalapuram residence

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The mortal remains of DMK President M. Karunanidhi will be taken to his home at Gopalapuram here from the Kauvery Hospital and then to Rajaji Hall for people to pay their last respects, said a senior DMK leader.
 
"The plan is to take our leader's body to his residence at Gopalapuram. And from there to Rajaji Hall for people to pay their last respects," the leader told IANS.
 
As per plans, Karunanidhi's mortal remains will be laid to rest on Wednesday.
 
Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times, died on Tuesday evening at the Kauvery Hospital.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Karunanidhi: A colossus in Dravidian politics

M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
Muthuvel Karunanidhi was one of the last links to the Dravidian movement that ushered in the rise of backward classes in politics and the end of Congress rule in Tamil Nadu five decades ago on the plank of social justice.
 
A five-time Chief Minister, the 94-year-old Karunanidhi, who strode the public life of Tamil Nadu like a colossus, also played a key role in national politics when he aligned with Indira Gandhi in 1971 and reaped rich rewards in elections. 
 
But he staunchly opposed the Emergency of 1975-77 during which his government was dismissed on corruption charges. He was banished to the opposition ranks till the death of his friend-turned-foe and iconic film hero M.G. Ramachandran or MGR in December 1987.
 
Under Karunanidhi, the DMK occupied a prime position in the UPA governments at the Centre in 2004 and 2009 and earlier in the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpyee, an alignment that surprised many given the party's Dravidian moorings.
 
He was a wily politician who succeeded his mentor C.N. Annadurai or 'Anna' as Chief Minister in 1969 and kept a stranglehold on the party and government. He remained the President of the DMK for nearly 50 years, a rare feat in any democratic country. 
 
He always sported dark glasses, which became his trademark identity, and in later years a yellow stole, which critics said was against the atheism he preached.
 
With the death of his arch rival J. Jayalalithaa in 2016 and his departure now, Tamil Nadu is left with a void.
 
Born in Tirukkuvalai in the erstwhile Thanjavur district on June 3, 1924, Karunanidhi was a multifaceted personality -- journalist, playwright, script writer -- whose fiery dialogues as an iconoclast in films unleashed changes in Tamil Nadu's social scene.
 
He joined the Dravidian movement as a teenager under the tutelage of the late social reformer 'Periyar' E.V. Ramasamy and Anna. 
 
'Kalaignar', as Karunanidhi was called for his proficiency in arts and literature, fashioned theatre and cinema in a way that gave a fillip to the Dravidian movement and the rise of DMK as a major pole in Tamil Nadu. 
 
Karunanidhi's political fortunes rose when Anna broke away from the DK to float the DMK in 1949. The box office hit of Tamil movie 'Parasakthi' for which he wrote the script and a 'rail roko' agitation in Kallakudi near Tiruchirapalli made him known throughout the state.
 
He ascended to the DMK throne and the Chief Ministership following the death of party founder Annadurai in 1969.
 
Karunanidhi had the party in his strong grip till the end despite presiding over two major splits and being out of power continuously between 1977 and 1989.
 
Born in a poor Isai Vellalar (a backward caste) family, he was named Dakshinamurthy by his god-fearing parents Muthuvel and Anjugam. He later changed that to Karunanidhi, a Tamil name shorn of any Brahminical or Sanskrit tinge.
 
He also took part in the anti-Hindi agitations of 1937-40 and published a handwritten newspaper 'Manavar Nesan' (Friend of Students) and later formed the first student wing of the Dravidian movement, Tamil Nadu Manavar Mandram.
 
The anti-Hindi agitation was revived by the DMK in 1965, leading to massive anti-Congress sentiments amid much violence. 
 
Karunanidhi also published 'Murasoli', a monthly which grew to become a weekly and the DMK's official daily. Last year it celebrated its platinum jubilee. 
 
He contested his first Assembly election in 1957 from Kulithalai successfully and since then has not lost any of the 13 elections he contested.
 
His fortunes gained further strength when the DMK won the 1967 elections and Annadurai made Karunanidhi the Minister of Public Works.
 
After Anna's death in 1969, Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister. He led the DMK to a landslide win in 1971. 
 
Bad times started soon after. Perceiving the popularity of movie hero and party leader MGR as a future threat to him, Karunanidhi began sidelining him and ousted him in 1972.
 
MGR floated the AIADMK that took power in 1977. He cultivated the Congress well -- sharing liberally the Lok Sabha seats while retaining his hold on the Assembly -- to effectively consign the DMK to the opposition benches.
 
DMK's fortunes revived in 1989 when it won handsomely, assisted by a split in AIADMK, with one faction led by its founder's widow Janaki Ramachandran and the other by Jayalalithaa.
 
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However, in 1991, the DMK government was dismissed in the wake of heightened activities in Tamil Nadu of Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers whose vocal supporter he was. After Rajiv Gandhi's assassination by a LTTE suicide bomber in May 1991, the AIADMK under Jayalalithaa swept to power.
 
The DMK suffered a second split in 1993 when Karunanidhi saw fiery speaker Vaiko as a threat to his son M.K. Stalin's ascendancy in the party and expelled him.
 
After that it was a see-saw battle with people choosing DMK and AIADMK alternatively. In 2006, the DMK was voted back to power for its populist promises.
 
In 2011 Karunanidhi promised more, but the DMK lost the battle. In 2016, too, it suffered the same fate.
 
A staunch opponent of Congress and its dynastic rule during earlier days, Karunanidhi later changed tack and paved the way for his progenies' progress within and outside the party.
 
He brought his sons -- through his second wife Dayalu -- M.K. Alagiri and M.K.Stalin -- into the party. Alagiri became Union Minister while Stalin was declared the political heir. However Alagiri was dismissed from the party later for anti-party activities.
 
Karunanidhi made Kanimozhi, his daughter by his third wife Rajathi, a Rajya Sabha member.
 
After the death of Murasoli Maran, his nephew, conscience keeper and the party's face in Delhi, Karunanidhi got the former's second son Dayanidhi Maran a Cabinet post in the central ministry in 2004 and 2009.
 
With coalitions becoming the norm at the Centre, the DMK started siding with BJP and Congress to get cabinet berths.
 
It was the Sarkaria Commission which first stamped Karunanidhi as corrupt in the matter of allotting tenders for the old Veeranam water project. 
 
Though Karunanidhi was jailed several times during his long political innings, what shocked many was his midnight arrest by the Jayalalithaa regime in 2001 on corruption charges.
 
His wife Dayalu and daughter Kaimozhi were questioned by the CBI over corruption charges. 
 
When the Sethusamudram Canal Project got mired in controversy, Karunanidhi shocked the nation by wondering aloud whether Lord Rama was an engineer to build a bridge across the sea. 
 
Karunanidhi donated his home at Gopalapuram to a trust to convert it into a hospital for the poor after his and his wife Dayalu's lifetime.
 
Karunanidhi is survived by his two wives Dayalu and Rajathi, sons M.K. Muthu, Alagiri, Stalin and M.K. Tamilarasu and daughters S. Selvi and Kanimozhi and grandchildren.
 
IANS
 

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DMK leader M. Karunanidhi passes away at 94

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam patriarch M. Karunanidhi, who played a stellar role in state politics for decades and whose party played an influential role in national politics, passed away here today due to age-related problems.
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam patriarch M. Karunanidhi, who played a stellar role in state politics for decades and whose party played an influential role in national politics,  passed away here today due to age-related problems.
 
He was 94.
 
"With deep anguish, we announce the demise of our beloved Kaiaignar Dr. M. Karunanidhi on 07.08.2018 at 06.10 PM. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to rescuscitate him, he failed to respond," a statement from Kauvery Hospital, where he was admitted on July 28, said.
 
""We profoundly mourn the loss of one of the tallest leaders of India and share the grief of family members and fellow Tamilians worldwide," the statement by Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive Director of the hospital, said.
 
A five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi was in a critical state throughout his 11-day stay in hospital and his health deteriorated further today. The hospital had earlier in the day described his condition as "extremely critical and unstable".
 
Thousands of DMK supporters, men and women, stood vigil outside the hospital during the past few days, hoping against hope that their leader would recover.
 
"Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa" (Awake, our leader) and "Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa" (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) were some of the slogans they raised, in a reference to the locality where the former Chief Minister lived.
 
Ahead of the announcement, the Tamil Nadu police stepped up security arrangements in Chennai and all other parts of the state.
 
Earlier in the day, Karunanidhi's son and DMK leader M.K. Stalin met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami along with his family members and senior party colleagues. 
 
Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital on July 18 for change of tracheostomy tube. 
On July 26, the hospital said Karunanidhi was suffering from a urinary tract infection and he was being treated at home with intravenous anti-biotics and fluids.
 
His condition worsened on July 28 with a drop in his blood perssure and he was shifted to the hospital, where he finally breathed his last this evening.
 
During his hospitalisation, dignitaries such as President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and several other leaders visited the hospital and met Stalin and other members of his family.
 
IANS adds:
 
The news of the mass leader's death cast a pall of gloom across the sprawling state which he had enticed all his political career through powerful oratory and script writing that changed the course of politics and the way Tamil cinema was made and helped the DMK's growth. He was just 14 when be became a student activist.
 
Men and women, who had been praying for their leader's recovery, wailed outside the hospital as news of his death broke. By then, Chennai was already tense, with residents stocking essentials like milk and vegetables anticipating a state-wide shutdown. 
 
The mortal remains of the DMK President will be taken to his home in Gopalapuram here and then to Rajaji Hall for people to pay their last respects. The Tamil Nadu government announced a week-long mourning.
 
A DMK leader said Karunanidhi's mortal remains will be laid to rest on Wednesday.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a host of Chief Ministers, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and several others from across the country are expected to fly to Chennai on Wednesday.
 
Karunanidhi leaves two wives -- Dayalu and Rajathi, three sons including DMK Working President M.K. Stalin and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, daughter Kanimozhi (MP) and several grandchildren.
 
The DMK patriarch, who had faded from public life for nearly two years, had been in and out of hospital on account of age-related ailments. 
 
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Even before the grim bulletins on his health were issued by the, Karunanidhi's family and the state appeared to be preparing for the inevitable.
 
Stalin accompanied by Alagiri and Kanimozhi and top leaders of the party met Chief Minister E. Palaniswami and pressed for Karunanidhi's body to be interred on the Marina Beach near DMK stalwart C.N. Annadurai's mausoleum. But the government declined the request. 
 
Karunanidhi, who only 10 days ago completed 49 years as DMK chief, led his party through various ups and downs against charismatic rivals M.G. Ramachandran, who had banished him to the opposition ranks till his own death in 1987, and J. Jayalalithaa, who died in 2016. 
 
From 1967, when the DMK ousted the Congress for ever from power in the state, Tamil Nadu has been ruled either by the DMK or AIADMK.
 
Succeeding his mentor Annadurai in 1969 as Chief Minister, Karunanidhi maintained a strong hold over the party and government.
 
Though he didn't aspire for politics beyond Tamil Nadu, the multi-faceted leader played key roles in national politics starting from when he aligned with Indira Gandhi in 1969 on issues like bank nationalisation and later in the formation of coalition governments under V.P. Singh, H.D. Deve Gowda, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.
 
Once the ethnic conflict erupted in Sri Lanka in 1983, Karunanidhi became a champion of the Tamil cause and, later, the Tamil Tigers, often putting pressure on New Delhi to change its course vis-a-vis Colombo. But the LTTE's assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 almost wiped out the DMK, leaving him as the sole winner in Assembly elections.
 
It was one of the 13 Assembly elections he never lost and which helped him rule Tamil Nadu five times.
 
As Chief Minister, he had pioneered several welfare schemes and introduced freebies in the country's politics. An avowed atheist, Karunanidhi was known for his trademark dark glasses as well as a yellow stole. The latter, critics felt, betrayed his hidden superstitious feelings.
 
NNN
 

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Karunanidhi's condition 'extremely critical, unstable'

DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's health deteriorated further on Tuesday, with Kauvery Hospital describing his condition as "extremely critical and unstable".
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's health deteriorated further on Tuesday, with Kauvery Hospital describing his condition as "extremely critical and unstable".
 
"There has been significant decline in the clinical condition of Karunanidhi over the last few hours. Despite maximum medical support, his vital organ functions continue to deteriorate. His condition is extremely critical and unstable," a hospital statement said.
 
Karunanidhi, 94, a five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has been in the hospital located at Alwarpet in the heart of Chennai since July 28 when his blood pressure dipped all of a sudden.
 
Even before the Tuesday evening statement, thousands of DMK supporters, both men and women, began massing outside the hospital, some waving the party's red-and-black flags and photos of one of India's most veteran politicians.
 
"Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa" (Awake, our leader) and "Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa" (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) were among the slogans raised by the emotionally-charged crowd, referring to the locality where the former Chief Minister has a house.
 
The Tamil Nadu Police chief on Tuesday ordered maximum deployment of the police force across the state.
 
A circular issued by Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran asked all Superintendents of Police, City Police Commissioners and others to direct officials under them to report to them immediately in uniform without delay.
 
The Zonal Inspector Generals of Police have been asked to utilize manpower within the zone depending upon the requirement.
 
Earlier in the day, Karunanidhi's son and DMK leader M.K. Stalin met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami along with his family members and senior party colleagues. The meeting took place at Palaniswami's residence. 
 
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Amid rising concerns over Karunanidhi's health, many in Chennai began to stock essentials like vegetables and milk, fearing a shutdown in the city and across Tamil Nadu.
 
The crowds outside the hospital started to swell after the medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital on Monday evening said that Karunanidhi's condition had deteriorated.
 
On Monday, the hospital said Karunanidhi's response to medical intervention over the next 24 hours would determine the prognosis.
 
"There has been a decline in the medical condition of Karunanidhi. Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments," said the hospital statement.
 
The DMK chief was admitted to Kauvery Hospital for the first time on July 18 for change of tracheostomy tube. 
 
On July 26, the hospital said Karunanidhi was suffering from urinary tract infection and he was being treated at home with intravenous anti-biotics and fluids.
 
However, the DMK leader's condition turned bad on July 28 with a drop in his blood pressure and he was shifted to the hospital. He has remained there since then.
 
IANS
 

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Karunanidhi remains critical, Stalin meets CM

M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
DMK President M. Karunanidhi's health remained critical on Tuesday, party leaders said, as his son and party stalwart M.K. Stalin met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami here.
 
The meeting took place at Palaniswami's residence. Further details were not available. 
Stalin was accompanied by some party colleagues.
 
DMK cadres continued to mass in large numbers outside the Kauvery Hospital where Karunanidhi, 94, has been admitted since July 28.
 
"Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa" (Awake, our leader) and "Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa" (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) were among the slogans raised by the emotionally-charged crowd, referring to the locality where the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has a house.
 
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Hundreds of men and women have assembled outside the hospital located in Alwarpet in south Chennai.
 
"We want to hear the good news about our leader's health. That is why we are here," said a party member.
 
The crowd outside the hospital started to swell after the medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital on Monday evening said that Karunanidhi's condition had deteriorated.
 
Karunanidhi, one of the most senior politicians in India and a five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has been ailing for some time.
 
On Monday, the hospital said Karunanidhi's response to medical intervention over the next 24 hours would determine the prognosis.
 
"There has been a decline in the medical condition of Karunanidhi. Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments," said the hospital statement.
 
The DMK chief was admitted to Kauvery Hospital for the first time on July 18 for change of tracheostomy tube. 
 
On July 26, the hospital said Karunanidhi was suffering from urinary tract infection and he was being treated at home with intravenous antibotics and fluids.
 
However, the DMK leader's condition turned bad on July 28 with a drop in his blood pressure and he was shifted to the hospital. He has remained there since then.
 
IANS
 

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CBI busts smuggling racket at Trichy airport, books 19

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday said it has booked 19 persons, including six Customs officials posted at the Tiruchirapalli International Airport, on charge of involvement in the smuggling of gold and other valuables.
 
The CBI has registered cases against these persons under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act for alleged criminal conspiracy, public servant taking undue advantage, influencing and bribing public servants and abetment to crime.
 
Among those named in the FIR filed in Madurai are senior Customs officials like Assistant Commissioner M. Venkatesulu, two Superintendents S. Ramakrishnan and Kalugasalamoorthy, and three other Customs officials.
 
The CBI received reliable information that Customs officials at the airport were allowing smugglers to bring in valuables without payment of duties from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries.
 
The CBI conducted surprise checks on August 5 and 6 at the airport and noticed that people waiting near the airport's arrival gate had paid money to some passengers.
 
These passengers later returned with goods loaded on trolleys. The accused Customs officials allegedly did not open all the baggage for checking.
 
The CBI officials seized Rs 904,000 kept in a safe allegedly belonging to a Customs official Freddy Esward.
 
The accused private persons were regular travellers abroad.
 
IANS
 

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Karunanidhi's health deteriorates, crowds swell outside hospital

M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
DMK President M. Karunanidhi was on Monday fighting a grim battle for life as his health deteriorated, sparking concern among DMK workers and well-wishers who started thronging the hospital where he has been warded for the last 10 days.
 
Doctors said the 94-year-old former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's response to medical intervention over the next 24 hours would determine the prognosis.
 
"There has been a decline in the medical condition of Karunanidhi. Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments," said a statement from Kauvery Hospital.
 
"He is on continuous monitoring and being treated with active medical support. His response to medical interventions over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis," it said.
 
Hundreds of DMK workers started marching towards the Kauvery hospital in Alwarpet in the heart of the city as news of deterioration of Karunanidhi's health broke out in the evening. Traffic in various parts of the city was paralysed.
 
Outside the hospital, the DMK cadres kept shouting: "Get up and Come."
 
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DMK General Secretary K. Anbalagan, Karunanidhi's family members and other leaders rushed to the hospital and had to wade through crowds who were still confident that the leader would fight the odds and come out victorious.
 
Police deployment was also stepped up to keep the situation under control.
 
The five-time Chief Minister was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 28 after a dip in blood pressure.
 
On July 31 the Kauvery Hospital said: "Although there has been resolution of the condition which led to his hospital admission, an extended period of hospitalisation will be necessary due to age related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters."
 
Late on Monday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari visited the hospital and enquired about Karunanidhi's health.
 
In the last 10 days, a virtual Who's Who of Indian politics - right from President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and leaders from various parties including the BJP, Left and others - visited the hospital to express their wishes for Karunanidhi's speedy recovery.
 
IANS
 

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DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's health suffers setback

M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
M. Karunanidhi (File photo: IANS)
DMK President M. Karunanidhi was on Monday fighting a grim battle for life as his health deteriorated, sparking concerns among DMK workers and well-wishers who started thronging the hospital where he has been admitted for treatment for the last 10 days.
 
Doctors said the 94-year-old former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's response to medical intervention over the next 24 hours would determine the prognosis. 
 
"There has been a decline in the medical condition of Karunanidhi. Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments," a hospital statement said.
 
"He is on continuous monitoring and being treated with active medical support. His response to medical interventions over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis," it said.
 
Hundreds of DMK workers started marching towards the Kauvery hospital in Alwarpet in the heart of the city as news of deterioration of Karunanidhi's health broke out in the evening. Traffic in various parts of the city was paralysed. 
 
DMK General Secretary K. Anbalagan, Karunanidhi's family members and other leaders rushed to the hospital and had to wade through crowds who were still confident that the leader would fight the odds and come out victorious. 
 
Police deployment was also stepped up to keep the situation under control.
 
The five-time Chief Minister was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 28 after a dip in blood pressure.
 
In the last 10 days, a virtual Who's Who of Indian politics - right from President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and leaders from various parties including the BJP, Left and others - visited the hospital to express their wishes for Karunanidhi's speedy recovery.
 
IANS
 

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DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's health deteriorates

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DMK President M. Karunanidhi's health has deteriorated and his response to medical intervention over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis, the Kauvery Hospital said on Monday.
 
"There has been a decline in the medical condition of Karunanidhi. Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments," a hospital statement said.
 
"He is on continuous monitoring and being treated with active medical support. His response to medical interventions over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis," it said.
 
The 94-year-old Karunanidhi, who has been the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times, was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 28 after a dip in his blood pressure.
 
IANS
 

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President Kovind visits ailing Karunanidhi

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President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday visited ailing DMK President M. Karunanidhi at the Kauvery Hospital here and wished him speedy recovery.
 
"Visited Thiru Karunanidhi, met Kalaignar's family members and doctors, and inquired about his health. Wishing the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, a veteran of our public life, a quick recovery," he said on microblogging site Twitter later.
 
Kovind was accompanied by Governor Banwarilal Purohit. He met Karunanidhi's son M.K. Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi at the hospital and enquired about their father's health.
 
A five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 28 after a dip in his blood pressure and has since been under treatment. His condition is said to be stable now.
 
Earlier, Kovind was received at the airport by Purohit, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Kovind to visit Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala from August 4-7

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President Ram Nath Kovind will pay a four-day visit to three southern states -- Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala --- from tomorrow.
 
On August 5, Mr. Kovind will address the 7th convocation of Indian  Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. 
 
On the same day, he will visit Chennai to meet ailing DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, who is undergoing treatment in the Kauvery Hospital there.
 
On August 6, the President will inaugurate the ‘Festival of Democracy’ in Thiruvananthapuram to mark the conclusion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.
 
On August 7, he will inaugurate the centenary celebrations of St. Thomas’ College, Thrissur, before returning to Delhi. 
 
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Stalin visits restaurant attacked by DMK members, offers compensation

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DMK leader M.K. Stalin on Thursday visited a restaurant whose owner and employees were attacked by party members and offered to pay for the damages, an act that won the heart of the proprietor.
 
Stalin went to the R.R. Anbu Biryani restaurant here and comforted the owner and employees for the weekend incident. He was accompanied by former Union Telecom Minister and party Propaganda Secretary A. Raja and other colleagues.
 
On Sunday night, a group of DMK members led by Yuvaraj went to R.R. Anbu Biryani and demanded free biryani. The hotel employees told them that business had ended for the day, said police.
 
Enraged at this, Yuvaraj assaulted the cashier and other employees. He was joined by another party member, Diwakar.
 
The video of the attack went viral on the social media, following which the DMK on Wednesday suspended Yuvaraj and Diwakar for bringing disrepute to the party.
 
Stalin also condemned the violence on the hotel staff.
 
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On Thursday, after Stalin comforted owner R.R. Tamilselvan, the latter praised the DMK leader whose father and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi is admitted in hospital battling major health related issues.
 
"I don't have any words to say. Even when his father, a great leader, is admitted in hospital, Stalin came to our restaurant and comforted us all," Tamilselvan said.
 
"Earlier he had called us to the DMK headquarters and enquired about the incident and the damages. He said he would want to visit the outlet." He pledged to make good the losses.
 
Tamilselvam said Stalin had asked the local party leaders as to how and why such persons were admitted to the DMK.
 
Tamilselvan said Yuvaraj always used to come to the restaurant and demand discount on food. He also expected not be billed for the food consumed.
 
Tamilselvan said he started his food business on a cartwheel and eventually grew it into a 21-outlet chain.
 
Meanwhile, the police have arrested five persons while Yuvaraj and Diwakar are absconding.
 
According to the hotel staff, Yuvaraj had come to the hotel a week earlier and had parked his vehicle blocking the entrance, resulting in an argument with the hotel staff.
 
IANS
 

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