Political leaders on Tuesday evening remembered DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s political legacy and efforts for social justice and development.
Noting that he had the opportunity to interact with Karunanidhi on several occasions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, “Firmly committed to democratic ideals, his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered. 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.”
Karunanidhi was a “doyen of our public life, as a contributor to the development of Tamil Nadu and of India”, President Ram Nath Kovind said. “He has few peers. Our country is poorer today.”
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said Karunanidhi was a multifaceted personality. “Being a member of the 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.
In a letter to Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin, former President Pranab Mukherjee wrote, “…Kalaignar was one of the few individuals who witnessed and shaped Modern India. In his passing away, the people of Tamil Nadu, as indeed the entire country, have lost a crusader for the poor and the marginalised, as also the values of federalism.”
BJP president Amit Shah said “no one can forget his struggle during Emergency”.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, “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.”
In a letter to Stalin, former PM Manmohan Singh wrote, “…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 the downtrodden classes.”
Former Union minister P Chidambaram said, “In the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi the nation and the Tamil people have lost a colossus who was more than the 50-year leader of a political party and a five-time Chief Minister. Kalaignar had the unique honour of being an acknowledged multi-faceted leader in multiple fields such as politics, literature, journalism, drama, cinema, art, philosophy and government administration.”
While West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that “India lost one of its greatest sons, and Tamil Nadu its father figure”, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu said the nation has lost a strong politician.
Condolences also poured in from CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who said Karunanidhi had left behind a rich seven-decade legacy of contributions to evolving Indian and Tamil Nadu politics. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, CPI leader D Raja and former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi also remembered the late leader.