Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condoled the demise of former Tamilnadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
Karunanidhi, who was one of the two poles in the state and who was in public life for 80 long years, died on Tuesday evening after waging a grim battle for life in a city hospital, leaving a void in the Dravidian politics and triggering nationwide mourning for an essentially regional leader.
Chief Minister Sonowal in a statement said that late Karunanidhi’s contribution to the socio-economic development of Tamilnadu as Chief Minister of the state for five times would always be remembered. Moreover, as an actor of Tamil films and litterateur, he enriched the cultural and literary fields of the country. His death is an irreparable lost to the socio-political life of the nation.
Chief Minister Sonowal also extended his deep sympathy to the bereaved family and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.
The news of the 94-year-old mass leader’s death cast a pall of gloom across the sprawling state which he had enticed all his political career through powerful oratory and script writing that changed the course of politics and the way Tamil cinema was made and helped the DMK’s growth.
The mortal remains of the DMK President will be taken to his home in Gopalapuram here and then to Rajaji Hall for people to pay their last respects. The Tamil Nadu government announced a week-long mourning.
A DMK leader said Karunanidhi’s mortal remains will be laid to rest on Wednesday.
Karunanidhi leaves behind two wives — Dayalu and Rajathi, three sons including DMK Working President M.K. Stalin and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, daughter Kanimozhi (MP) and several grandchildren.
The DMK patriarch, who had faded from public life for nearly two years, had been in and out of hospital on account of age-related ailments.
Karunanidhi, who only 10 days ago completed 49 years as DMK chief, led his party through various ups and downs against charismatic rivals M.G. Ramachandran, who had banished him to the opposition ranks till his own death in 1987, and J. Jayalalithaa, who died in 2016.
From 1967, when the DMK ousted the Congress for ever from power in the state, Tamil Nadu has been ruled either by the DMK or AIADMK.
Succeeding his mentor Annadurai in 1969 as Chief Minister, Karunanidhi maintained a strong hold over the party and government.