Chennai: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam paid their last respects to DMK President M. Karunanidhi here on Wednesday.
People from different walks of life — leaders, actors, industrialists and others — also paid homage to their departed leader, whose mortal remains have been kept at the Rajaji Hall. Purohit also had a few words with Karunanidhi’s son and DMK leader M.K. Stalin. Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal, Minister for Fisheries D. Jayakumar, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai and other party leaders also paid homage to Karunanidhi.
Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth also paid his respects and consoled the family members of the DMK patriarch. Chief Minister for five times and leader of DMK party for 50 years, the 94-year-old breathed his last owing to age-related ailments in a private hospital here on Tuesday evening. His mortal remains was brought to the Rajaji Hall early on Wednesday after it was taken to his homes at Gopalapuram here and at CIT Colony for relatives and leaders to pay their last respects. The veteran politician’s body is covered with the national flag.
On Tuesday Union Home Ministry in a statement said the Tricolour will fly half-mast on Wednesday as a mark of respect to the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. “It has also been decided to accord state funeral to the departed soul. The funeral will take place in Chennai on Wednesday and the government of India will observe one-day state mourning throughout the country. “There will be no official entertainment on the day,” the Home Ministry statement said.
Leaders of the DMK party have assembled at the Rajaji Hall. A large number of people have gathered outside to pay their last respects to the iconic leader. Outside the hall, DMK party cadres are shouting “Marina Vendum, Marina Vendum “(want Marina) referring to the party’s request for burial site at Marina Beach here, which was turned down by the state government on Tuesday. The matter has been taken up for hearing in the Madras High Court which will decide the issue on Wednesday morning.