Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday expressed deep condolences on DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s demise in a letter to his son and party’s working president MK Stalin. “We shall not see the like of Kalaignar again, and our nation is poorer without his wise statesmanship, and his dedication to our country and our people.”
Karunanidhi passed away Tuesday at Kauvery hospital in Chennai at the age of 94. He will be buried on Marina beach around 4 pm today.
In her letter, Sonia said, “I am deeply saddened at the passing away of your revered and beloved father, Thiru Karunanidhi. Kalaignar was a towering figure in the world of politics and public service in both Tamil Nadu and our nation. Throughout his long and magnificent life, he stood unwavering for social justice and equality, for development, progress and prosperity of Tamil Nadu, and for the well-being of every single citizen, especially the poorest and most marginalised. He was also a brilliant literary figure who did so much to promote Tamil Nadu’s rich and distinctive culture and arts, and brought worldwide recognition for it. His decades at the helm of Tamil Nadu’s government and politics have left a superb and enduring legacy, for which he will forever be honoured and remembered. I believe he had full confidence that you would nurture and take forward his legacy.”
The senior Congress leader said that Karunanidhi was like a father figure to her. “For me, Kalaignar’s loss is very personal. he always showed me great kindness and consideration, which I can never forget. He was like a father figure to me.”
Praising Stalin for looking after his father with ‘utmost devotion’ till he breathed his last, Sonia wrote: “At this time of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. You must draw solace from the fact that your father lived a long and wonderfully fulfilled life, he is now released from suffering, and that you looked after him during his illness with utmost devotion. We shall not see the like of Kalaignar again, and our nation is poorer without his wise statesmanship, and his dedication to our country and our people.”
The DMK was part of the previous UPA government led by Manmohan Singh. Sonia Gandhi was the chairperson of the alliance.