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Karunanidhi funeral: Stream of visitors hints at 2019 equations

Beyond the immediate grief, the high profile farewell indicated of the state of play of politics in Tamil Nadu, with 39 Lok Sabha seats, and its importance for the 2019 polls.

The adjournment of both Houses of Parliament on August 8 as a mark of respect for M. Karunanidhi not only acknowledged the the DMK patriarch’s stature in politics but also indicated the importance of regional players for stitching up alliances for general elections in 2019.

And the image of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee landing in Chennai to pay their last respects to the former chief minister and regional strongman further underscored the political significance.

Speaker Mahajan described Mr Karunanidhi as an “astute administrator, visionary and a leader of the masses”.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to DMK working president M.K. Stalin in which she called the DMK leader a “father figure” and described his death as a “personal loss.”

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