Thousands mourn as revered veteran Tamil Nadu leader Karunanidhi dies

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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.

Mr M. Karunanidhi, one of India's longest-serving politicians, died in a Chennai hospital on Tuesday (Aug 7) at the age of 94, triggering an outpouring of grief in Tamil Nadu. However, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidhyanathan released a statement saying Karunanidhi would not be buried at Marina Beach, and that DMK had permission to bury him in a two-acre plot at Gandhi Mandapam.

Thousands gathered outside Kauvery hospital in the city of Chennai to offer their condolences. On such occasions, the govt and political parties should move above politics. The DMK patriarch has established an indisputable, not to mention special, place in the lives and hearts of people of Tamil Nadu. Both were Karunanidhi's bitter foes in politics. Shops in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu were also closed today and police security was beefed up across the state.

He was a five-time chief minister and elected 13 times to the state assembly between 1957 and 2016. Later, he founded Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram.

A school dropout, he made his name as a successful scriptwriter in Tamil films.

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The DMK president passed away at 6.10 pm.

After a health scare, the doctors extended his period of hospitalisation due to age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver functions and haematological parameters. Karunanidhi has never, in his entire life, lost a single assembly election!

In 2007, his remarks over Lord Rama in conection with Ramsetu bridge stormed a huge political controversy when he allegedly said, "Some say there was a person over 1.7 million years ago".

After DMK's first election, Karunanidhi was promoted as the treasurer of the party in 1961 and became the deputy leader of Opposition in 1962.

Karunanidhi is survived by his wives Dayalu Ammal and Rajathi Ammal, sons M.K. Muthu, M.K. Azhagiri, M.K. Stalin and M.K. Tamzhalarasu and daughters Selvi and Kanimozhi. Several reports say that DMK cadres will be marching towards Chief Minister's office.