Former president Pranab Mukherjee penned an emotional tribute for DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who died at Chennai’s Kauvery Hospital on Tuesday evening. Recalling the five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister as a “crusader for the poor and the marginalised”, Mukherjee said that he was a “pillar of strength” for many coalition governments at the Centre.
“It is hard to reconcile with the fact that a leader who influenced his State's as well as the National politics for over five decades is no more amidst us,” wrote the veteran Congress man in a letter to DMK working president and Karunanidhi’s son MK Stalin.
Addressing the Kalaignar of Indian politics, the former President said that personal interactions with the “friend and well wisher” always left him enriched. He referred the DMK patriarch as a crusader for the values of federalism.
My condolences on the demise of Kalaignar M Karunanidhi. pic.twitter.com/876WutQVXx
— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) August 7, 2018
Here’s the letter penned by Mukherjee:
It is with deep sorrow and a sense of personal loss that I write to you in this hour of grief. The passing away of Kalaignar M Karunanidhi, so soon after my conversation with you over phone just a few days back has come as a shock and it is hard to reconcile with the fact that a leader who influenced his State's as well as the National politics for over five decades is no more amidst us.
A legislator for over six decades, a five time Chief Minister and a pillar of strength for many a Coalition Governments at the Centre, Kalaignar was one of the few individuals who witnessed and shaped Modern India. In his passing away, the people of Tamil Nadu, as indeed the entire country, have lost a crusader for the poor and the marginalized, as also the values of Federalism.
A friend and well wisher, my personal interactions with him always left me enriched. No words can be of comfort in these difficult times, however, please know that you and your family are in our prayers.