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President visits ailing DMK patriarch in hospital

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday visited Kauvery Hospital to enquire about DMK leader M. Karunanidhi’s health.

The President, accompanied by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, was received by the ailing DMK chief’s son and party working president M.K. Stalin, and daughter and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi. The visit lasted around 15 minutes.

A picture posted on the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s website showed the President with Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar, executive director of Kauvery Hospital Aravindan Selvaraj and Mr. Karunanidhi’s personal physician Dr. Gopal.

Emerging from the hospital, the President, in a rare gesture, got out of his vehicle and waved at the crowd gathered outside the premises. Soon after the visit, a message was posted from the President’s official Twitter handle, saying, “Visited Thiru M. Karunanidhi in Chennai, met
Kalaignar
’s family members and doctors, and inquired about his health. Wishing the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, a veteran of our public life, a quick recovery #PresidentKovind”.

An image accompanying the tweet showed the President interacting with Mr. Purohit, Mr. Stalin and Ms. Kanimozhi in a room. Earlier in the day, when the President landed in Chennai, Governor Purohit and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami received him at the airport. After visiting Chennai, the President left for Thiruvananthapuram.

Unlike the previous few days, not many VIPs visited Kauvery Hospital on Sunday. “Due to the security arrangements in place for the President’s visit, there were no VIP visitors,” a police officer said.

Even after the President left, not many dignitaries visited the hospital during the course of the day. The number of party cadre waiting outside the hospital had also reduced drastically. “After hearing that the leader is recovering, the crowd has reduced. Only some cadre from other districts continue to visit the hospital on a daily basis,” said S. Gunasekaran, a DMK functionary.

However, security measures remain in place. “At any given time, there are 100 personnel around the hospital,” said a senior police officer.

Meanwhile, doctors said Mr. Karunanidhi continued to maintain his vital functions, but with support. Kauvery Hospital is expected to issue a medical bulletin on the DMK leader’s health on Monday. Mr. Karunanidhi — a five-time Chief Minister of the State — was taken to hospital from his Gopalapuram residence on July 28.

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