Dravidian icon M Karunanidhi passes away at the age of 94

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#05:06 PM: Chennai Police bars public entry inside Kauvery Hospital, where the DMK patriarch is undergoing treatment.

The national flag will fly at half mast in Delhi, all state capitals and across Tamil Nadu tomorrow as a mark of respect to DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who passed away today, the Home Ministry announced here.

Karunanidhi made his presence felt in Tamil cinema as a playwright and screenwriter.

In the years that followed, the state government alternated between Karunanidhi and its main political rival, the AIADMK. His supporters and fans in Tamil Nadu were anxiously waiting to hear good news about his health after he was admitted to hospital on July 28. Later, he founded Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram. The greatest achievement of his politician genius was how he melded tough regionalism with unequivocal nationalism.

It wouldn't be until 1989, two years after MGR's death that Karunanidhi would step back into the Chief Minister's chair. However, it lasted only for two years as he was dismissed by the then Prime Minister Chandrasekar on charges of helping the LTTE in the state.

Continuing Annadurai's argument that an ideal Centre is the one which left sufficient powers with the states and kept just enough power with itself to protect the integrity and sovereignty of the country, Karunanidhi continued to work on the footsteps of his predecessor. Karunanidhi is considered as the leader who has always been concerned about his party and its people.

Later, after Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016, he had expressed regret, saying "I had hurt her".

In 1957, he was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly from the Kulithalai assembly of Thiruchirapalli district, one among the first 15 MLAs elected to the then Madras Legislative Assembly on a DMK ticket.

The DMK will now be led by M.K. Stalin, Karunanidhi's son and successor. Kanimozhi who Karunanidhi declared as his literary heir is a second term Rajya Sabha MP and DMK's women wing secretary.