Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi dies

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The body of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi will be kept at Chennai's Rajaji Hall to let the political leaders, public and party cadres pay homage, the DMK said on Tuesday.

"With deep anguish, we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar". Despite best efforts of our doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond.

Karunanidhi was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital on July 28 following a dip in his blood pressure, which stabilised after medical intervention.

Ambulance carrying Karunanidhi's mortal remains has left Kauvery hospital and is on its way to DMK Patriarch's Gopalapuram residence.

Born June 3, 1924 in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvarur district, Karunanidhi took to social activism during his early teens.

He was being treated for age-related illnesses in Chennai (formerly Madras) in southern India's Tamil Nadu state.

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After DMK's first election, Karunanidhi was promoted as the treasurer of the party in 1961 and became the deputy leader of Opposition in 1962.

He was one of the few politicians who did not lose even one election to the Legislative Assembly. Both were Karunanidhi's bitter foes in politics.

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The biggest blot in Karunanidhi's political life was his decision to support the BJP-led government at the centre in 1999 when Jayalalithaa withdrew her support. Karunanidhi's close friend MG Ramachandran's enormous resources helped to tilt the race to chief minister's chair in his favour while DMK seniors like VR Nedunchezhian were forced to give way.

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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