NEW DELHI: Schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu will remain closed today, the state government has said after DMK patriarch and five-time chief minister M Karunanidhi died last evening. Apart from declaring a public holiday for today, a seven-day mourning has also been announced by the Tamil Nadu government.
Karunanidhi, one of the tallest leaders of Tamil Nadu politics, died at 6:10 on Tuesday evening, Kauvery Hospital, where the 94-year-old was being treated for the last 11 days.
“With deep anguish, we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi at 6.10 p.m.,” said a statement from the hospital where thousands of DMK cadres and fans have been camping for days hoping for a miraculous recovery.
“Despite the best possible efforts by a team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond. We profoundly mourned the loss of one of the tallest leaders of India and we share the grief of family members and fellow Tamilians worldwide,” the statement added.
The body of the DMK president has been kept at Chennai’s Rajaji Hall for people to pay their last respects. A DMK leader said Karunanidhi’s mortal remains will be laid to rest on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a host of Chief Ministers, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and several others from across the country are going to Chennai today.
Men and women, who had been praying for Karunanidhi’s recovery, wailed outside the hospital as news of his death broke. By then, Chennai was already tense, with residents stocking essentials like milk and vegetables anticipating a state-wide shutdown.
For more than a year, Mr Karunanaidhi had been in and out of hospital while recovering from a long ailment. He lived a secluded life — making no public appearance except occasional visits to his party office.
Source- NDTV, The India Express.