DMK Patriarch Karunanidhi, Dies At 94

#JustIn: Kaliagnar M. Karunanidhi Passes Away At 94

DMK president M Karunanidhi's health condition is extremely critical and unstable, said Kauvery hospital on Tuesday in its latest medical bulletin.

According to sources in the DMK, there was a wrangle last week with the state government about the place of burial for Karunanidhi.

Family members of Karunanidhi led by DMK working president M K Stalin met Chief Minister K Palaniswami and sought space near Annadurai's memorial for burying Karunanidhi's body.

The 94-year-old leader was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 26 due to age-related complications.

Karunanidhi, who was demanding a separate state flag for Tamil Nadu since 1970, ensured that chief ministers of states' who weren't allowed to hoist the national flag during Independence Day celebrations until 1974, were given the right to do so. "Despite best efforts of our doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond", said Kauvery Hospital, confirming the saddening news. But Karunanidhi was born to be a politician and his flirtation with cinema was to expand the scope of his politics. Later, Karunanidhi's body will be kept at Rajaji Hall for public viewing. Of the 15 elections held in Tamil Nadu since Independence, the DMK veteran faced 13 and lost none.

India's two national parties, Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress, have little presence in Tamil Nadu, a state of almost 70 million people where politics have been dominated by the DMK and Jayalalithaa's AIADMK.

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Supporters beat their chests and chanted the leader's name as hundreds of police struggled to contain the surging crowds pressing against barricades.

Mr Karunanidhi was among the proponents of the Dravidian movement, which defines Tamil Nadu politics and espouses rationalism, atheism and challenged the dominance of the upper caste Brahmins.

Karunanidhi, a school dropout, became involved in politics at a young age, spearheading the DMK which was allied for many years to the Gandhi dynasty's Congress party.

As the death of the former Chief Minister was announced, there was still confusion over the land for Karunanidhi memorial on the Marina beach.

Mr Karunanidhi is survived by his two wives and six children.

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