The DMK patriarch was rushed to the private hospital in Alwarpet at 1.30 am on July 28 following a drop in his blood pressure.
Thousands of his supporters gathered outside the hospital in Chennai to mourn his demise, as scores of policemen kept watch. He won his first Assembly seat from Kulithalai, in Trichy, in 1957 and became a minister of public works in 1967, when Annadurai was chief minister.
Born on June 3, 1924 at Thirukkuvalai into a family of Nadaswaram exponents who had traditionally played in temples, Karunanidhi, who was inclined towards Periyar E.V. Ramasamy's atheism and rationalism, joined his self-respect movement as a teenager.
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Karunanidhi was chief minister of Tamil Nadu five times and successfully contested 12 state elections, building legions of supporters on the way. When his death became imminent.
Karunanidhi, the man who shaped and controlled the political narrative of Tamil Nadu, no matter in power or out of it for several decades, died on Tuesday.
In his long political career, if there could be one single issue that has continued to trouble Karunanidhi and his party, politically, it is corruption charges. "I will never forget this day in my lifetime", said the 67-year-old, whose fans credit him with contributing to a huge DMK victory in 1996 with a comment that was a snub to AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa. He was also instrumental in constructing a 133-foot-high statue of Thiruvalluvar, the famous poet, in Kanyakumari. It was during his tenure that manufacturers, including Nokia, Foxconn, Mahindra and Mahindra, Renault and Nissan, chose to set up their manufacturing facilities near Chennai, said sources.
Karunanidhi also started a school newspaper that mushroomed into the "Murasoli", now known as the DMK's official newspaper. Kanimozhi was a Rajya Sabha MP.