Leaders from across India pay tributes to Karunanidhi

PM pays his last respects, calls him ‘extraordinary leader’.

A host of national leaders led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi paid tributes to late DMK president M. Karunanidhi who was laid to rest with full State honours beside his mentor C.N. Annadurai on Wednesday at the Marina beach here.

Both Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Singh conveyed their condolences to DMK working president M.K. Stalin in separate letters. Referring to Mr. Karunanidhi as a ‘father figure’, Ms. Gandhi said “For me, Kalaignar’s loss is very personal.”

“Kalaignar was a towering figure in the world of politics and public service in both Tamil Nadu and our nation,” Ms. Gandhi said in her letter.

Mr. Singh said the country had lost a versatile genius who was an outstanding artist, eminent writer and a true leader who always stood for the cause of the poor and downtrodden classes of society.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi paying his last respects.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi paying his last respects.
| Photo Credit: K. Pichumani


Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his respects to the late DMK patriarch at Rajaji Hall, just a few minutes after the Madras High Court cleared the decks for Mr. Karunanidhi’s body to be buried at Marina. Later, Mr. Modi in a tweet said Mr. Karunanidhi was an extraordinary leader and veteran administrator whose life was devoted to public welfare and social justice.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi who paid his respects at Rajaji Hall stayed back to witness the final rites of the DMK leader at the Marina and left after Mr. Karunanidhi’s body was laid to rest. Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda who was scheduled to arrive at Rajaji Hall, finally paid his respects to the late leader at the Marina, as the cortege started from the Hall before he arrived.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, told reporters that Mr. Karunanidhi was “one of those rare politicians who had so many diverse qualities”.

Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, paid their respects at Rajaji Hall.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Telengana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav, and Leader of Opposition in Bihar Tejaswi Yadav too paid their respects.

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