Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Thousands mourn as revered veteran Tamil Nadu leader Karunanidhi dies

Thousands mourn as revered veteran Tamil Nadu leader Karunanidhi dies

Hundreds of DMK cadres thronged Chennai's Kauvery Hospital after the news of Karunanidhi's deteriorating health broke out on Monday.

Expressing condolences over the death of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M Karunanidhi, who had passed away on Tuesday after 11 days in the hospital, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that he will pay tribute to the late leader personally by visiting Chennai on Wednesday.

The controversy erupted after the state government rejected the DMK's demand for allotting space for Karunanidhi's burial on the Marina beach, instead offering space near the memorials to former chief ministers Chakravarty Rajagopalachari and K. Kamraj at Guindy.

His last tweet was also a photo with Karunanidhi, when he went to wish him for his 94th birthday in June. The greatest achievement of his politician genius was how he melded tough regionalism with unequivocal nationalism. It is only sitting Chief Ministers who are buried on the Marina Beach.

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Mr Karunanidhi managed to keep Tamil Nadu in the national spotlight by entering into alliances with the current ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in 1990 and then the Congress in 2004.

It wouldn't be until 1989, two years after MGR's death that Karunanidhi would step back into the Chief Minister's chair.

Like his mentor Annadurai, Karunanidhi used his writing skills to further the ideology of the Dravidian movement through Tamil cinema.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led tributes to the veteran leader.

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In the 1991 elections, AIADMK ousted DMK and Karunanidhi was the sole DMK candidate to have been returned after the electoral battle.

He never lost an election to an MLA seat.

Karunanidhi's government was dismissed twice.

In his long political career, if there could be one single issue that has continued to trouble Karunanidhi and his party, politically, it is corruption charges.

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The transition from Annadurai to Karunanidhi is a rallying point not just for the DMK, but also for the state's politics.

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