Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his deep sadness over the death of DMK president M Karunanidhi. The DMK patriarch and former Tamil Nadu chief minister died at the age of 94. Doctors at Kauvery Hospital declared him dead at 6.10 pm.
Calling the DMK patriarch 'one of the senior most leaders of India', PM Modi said, "We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised."
In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister expressed his grief over the veteran leader's demise. "Kalaignar Karunanidhi stood for regional aspirations as well as national progress. He was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu’s voice was effectively heard," he said.
"I have had the opportunity of interacting with Karunanidhi Ji on several occasions. His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out. Firmly committed to democratic ideals, his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered," PM Modi added in another tweet.
He further said, "My thoughts are with the family and the countless supporters of Karunanidhi Ji in this hour of grief. India and particularly Tamil Nadu will miss him immensely. May his soul rest in peace."
Karunanidhi's health declined late on Monday following which he was under observation of doctors at the Kauvery hospital. With reports of the DMK veteran's deteriorating health conditions, a large number of DMK supporters and well-wishers gathered outside Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence in Chennai.
The doctors of Chennai's Kauvery hospital had earlier confirmed a sharp decline in the health of M Karunanidhi. Karunanidhi's vital organ functions remained a challenge, the hospital had said in a bulletin released late on Monday.
Karunanidhi, who had turned 94 last month, was admitted to hospital in Chennai on July 18. The hospital had said he had undergone a procedure to replace his tracheostomy tube. He had the tube placed in December 2016 to help improve his breathing. Karunanidhi had been discharged after the procedure on July 23.