PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah pay tribute to Karunanidhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/dmk-chief-karunanidhi-death-narendra-modi-5296426/

PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah pay tribute to Karunanidhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country had lost a mass leader, a prolific thinker, an accomplished writer and a stalwart who devoted his life to the upliftment of the poor and marginalised.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with late DMK chief Karunanidhi. (Source: Twitter)

Expressing his condolences on the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country had lost a mass leader, a prolific thinker, an accomplished writer and a stalwart who devoted his life to the upliftment of the poor and marginalised. The PM will travel to Chennai on Wednesday morning to pay his last respects to Karunanidhi.

In a series of tweets following the death of the 94-year-old leader at Kauvery hospital in Chennai, Modi said Kalaignar battled both for regional aspirations and national progress.

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised,” the PM tweeted.

Recalling his numerous interactions with the five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister, Modi singled out Karunanidhi’s understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare that impressed him the most. “I have had the opportunity of interacting with Karunanidhi Ji on several occasions. His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out,” the PM said.

Modi said Karunanidhi was one of the important characters who vociferously opposed the Emergency imposed by then PM Indira Gandhi and was firmly committed to democratic ideals. As a leader with a massive following, Karunanidhi was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu’s voice was effectively heard, Modi said.

READ | M Karunanidhi: A true artist who excelled at every role he played

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“Firmly committed to democratic ideals, his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered. He was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu’s voice was effectively heard,” Modi said. “My thoughts are with the family and the countless supporters of Karunanidhi Ji in this hour of grief. India and particularly Tamil Nadu will miss him immensely. May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.

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Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital following a drop in his blood pressure in the early hours of July 28. He became Tamil Nadu’s CM in 1969 for the first time and had held the position in the state five times, with the last tenure being in 2006.

Rahul Gandhi: ‘India has lost a great son’

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said Karunanidhi strode the stage of Tamil politics like a colossus for six decades and in his passing India had lost a “great son”. “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. My condolences to his family as also to the millions of Indians who grieve for their beloved leader tonight,” he tweeted.

Pinarayi Vijayan: ‘Legacy of the great leader will live on’

Expressing grief over the passing away of the DMK supremo, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said despite Karunanidhi being one of the greats of Indian politics, his contributions were not limited to politics alone. He was a man of letters who enriched the Tamil language with poems, novels, screenplays and plays, Vijayan said. “The legacy of the great leader will live on,” he said.

Amit Shah: ‘No one can forget his struggle during Emergency’

Recalling Karunanidhi’s impressive life journey, BJP chief Amit Shah said no one could forget his struggle when the Emergency was imposed in 1975. “Anguished to learn about the demise of veteran politician M Karunanidhi ji. He had an impressive life journey, starting as a screenwriter in Tamil film industry to being a five-term chief minister of Tamil Nadu. No one can forget his struggle during Emergency, imposed in 1975,” Shah tweeted.

Venkaiah Naidu: Karunanidhi was a multifaceted personality

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said Karunanidhi was a multifaceted personality and a gritty fighter and had overcome several challenges during his long stint in public life. “Being a member of the state Legislative Assembly 13 times since 1957 from seven different constituencies and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times speaks for his deep connect with and influence over the people of the state,” Naidu said.

Manmohan Singh: Karunanidhi was an exceptional public servant

“In his death our country has lost a versatile genius who was an outstanding artist, an eminent writer and a true Leader who always stood for the cause of the poor and downtrodden classes of the society. He was an exceptional Public Servant and a very able administrator who served our country, especially the state of Tamil Nadu with great distinction in diverse capacities,” Singh said

Mallikarjun Kharge: ‘An astute political leader who never lost an election’

“A champion of Tamil, the man who wrote books, novels and dialogues for plays and movies, who was also an astute political leader who never lost an election in a career spanning six decades. He paved path for youngsters of the state to follow the Dravidian philosophy and he will always be known for his contribution to this ideology,” Kharge said.