Thousands flocked to Rajaji Hall in Chennai to pay homage to former Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK leader M Karunanidhi, who died Tuesday after prolonged illness. Karunanidhi’s body was brought from his CIT Nagar residence to Rajaji Hall for the public to pay homage to their ‘Kalaignar‘.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, Rajinikanth and his family, and actor Sivakarthikeyan were among those who paid homage to Karunanidhi early this morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other national leaders are expected to arrive in Chennai later today.
CM Palaniswami expressed solidarity in grief with the deceased’s kin and followers, saying that Karunanidhi’s demise was a “big loss to Tamil Nadu”. He and Panneerselvam had a brief conversation with Karunanidhi’s son and DMK working president MK Stalin.
The arrival of AIADMK leaders met with chants from DMK supporters seeking a space for Karunanidhi’s burial near Anna Samadhi on Marina beach. The AIADMK government had offered to allot two-acre space at Gandhi Mandapam, near the memorials of former chief ministers C Rajagopalachary and K Kamaraj.
In response, DMK had late last night moved the Madras High Court against the government’s refusal to its demand for space at the Marina for Karunanidhi citing certain court cases. The matter is being heard by a high court bench.
The 94-year-old stalwart was admitted to Kauvery Hospital in Chennai on July 27 and was being treated for fever and a urinary tract infection. He breathed his last at 6:10 pm on Tuesday.
(With inputs from PTI)