Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the hospital, and there were public scenes of mourning after his death was announced.

DMK leader M K Stalin has asked party cadres to remain calm and maintain "military-like discipline" after his father and party president M Karunanidhi died in a Chennai hospital on Tuesday. The circular from the Government's Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan states that since there are many cases against allocating spaces for political leaders' memorial at Marina are ongoing in the Madras High Court, allocating space for Karunanidhi's memorial at the same site will create legal issues and hence the request can not be accommodated.

Karunanidhi, who wrote scripts for Tamil cinema before entering politics, faced allegations of corruption and nepotism.

Karunanidhi was the last of the grass-roots politicians of Tamil Nadu.

Mr Karunanidhi served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu five times between 1969 and 2011, and also played a key role in federal politics.

A regional party leader becoming indispensable in the national political sphere was something remarkable, said Senthilnathan. He refused to pay the penalty, stayed in prison for more than a year and since then came to be known as "Kallakudi konda Karunanidhi" (Karunanidhi who won Kallakudi).

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

Former chief minister M G Ramachandran and his protegee J Jayalalitha were buried at the Marina beach and memorials to them were erected there.

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

Later, after Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016, he had expressed regret, saying "I had hurt her".

Karunanidhi's government was dismissed twice.

He never lost an election to an MLA seat. Alagiri was a Union minister during the UPA government, while Stalin is now the treasurer of DMK and has been declared Karunanidhi's successor in the party.

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