Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M Karunanidhi breathed his last on Tuesday evening at the Kauvery Hospital after a prolonged struggle with failing health. "Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments", said the hospital statement.
Mr Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 28 after suffering a drop in his blood pressure and a urinary tract infection.
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A spate of visitors have visited the five times chief minister of Tamil Nadu during the past few days, including President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari is set to visit Kauvery Hospital later tonight to enquire the health condition of Karunanidhi.
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Hugely influenced by the rationalist and egalitarian ideology of EV Ramasamy "Periyar" and DMK founder and the state's first chief minister CN Annadurai, Karunanidhi became one of the most enduring mascots of the Dravidian Movement, which aimed at seeking equal rights for the depressed sections and women, and was against Brahminism. "We had met the chief minister and submitted a request for a Samadhi near the Anna memorial", Duraimurugan said according to News18. Karunanidhi is considered as the leader who has always been concerned about his party and its people. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. M Karunanidhi was 94. The TMC came to power in the state. He led DMK to victory in 1996, but AIADMK under Jayalalithaa trumped his party once again in 2001.
The funeral is due to take place on Wednesday (Aug 8) and the state government has declared a seven-day mourning period.
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He is survived by two wives and six children, including DMK working president and heir apparent M.K. Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP. The minister wrote on Twitter, "Deeply saddened by the demise of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Karunanidhi".