Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his anguish over the death of DMK president M. Karunanidhi. "As Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for several times, he made significant contributions in the development of the state and played a crucial role in national politics as well", said the Chief Minister. The dialogues in chaste Tamil espoused with Dravidian ideology became an element of Tamil political history and it was also a landmark for many other movies to use cinema as a tool for Dravidian politics.
He started his political journey when he was just 14 years old in the DMK. At the age of 33, M Karunanidhi entered the Tamil Nadu assembly by winning the Kulithalai seat in the 1957 election.
The DMK chief was admitted to the hospital for the first time on July 18 for change of tracheostomy tube. "Hand over anti-socials to police, they may attempt to tarnish DMK". In the two decades since, both parties and their respective leaders have traded power every five years. To his credit, Karunanidhi kept the party intact for the 13 long years in the Opposition fighting against a charismatic leader like MGR.
Tributes have poured in from around India, a clear indication of the stature of the Tamil leader on the federal scene. Mr Karunanidhi's DMK swept the election, riding a wave of anti-incumbency.
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His popularity rivalled that of J. Jayalalithaa, another powerful leader from Tamil Nadu whose death sparked a huge outpouring of grief.
Karunanidhi's predecessor Annadurai was also in office when he died. Later, the party was split and actor-cum-politician M G Ramachandran formed a new party under the name All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). After the state government declined the DMK's request, the party appraoched the Madras High Court for permission to bury Karunanidhi at Marina Beach.
Karunanidhi's government was dismissed twice.
The DMK will now be led by M.K. Stalin, Karunanidhi's son and successor.