DMK chief Karunanidhi hospitalised, political leaders pay visit

PTI

Chennai: DMK working president MK Staling along with senior leaders and relatives of party president M. Karunanidhi, who suffered a health setback past midnight, at Gopalapuram Residence in Chennai, on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Karunanidhi was rushed to Kauvery Hospital.  (PTI Photo)

Chennai: DMK working president MK Staling along with senior leaders and relatives of party president M. Karunanidhi, who suffered a health setback past midnight, at Gopalapuram Residence in Chennai, on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Karunanidhi was rushed to Kauvery Hospital. (PTI Photo)

DMK president M Karunanidhi, who is being treated for fever due to urinary tract infection, was shifted to a private hospital from his residence in Chennai early today, the party said.

The 94-year-old leader was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Kauvery Hospital around 1:30 am. The hospital, in a statement, said he was brought there after his blood pressure had dropped.

“His blood pressure has been stabilised with medical management and he continues to be monitored and treated by a panel of experts,” it said.

Several senior DMK leaders, including party working president and Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin, and other frontline leaders such as Duraimurugan, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and former Union minister A Raja were present at the hospital.

The DMK leaders had also visited the leader’s house in Gopalapuram area before he was taken to the hospital.

Karunanidhi’s estranged son and former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M K Alagiri, who was expelled from the party by the DMK chief in January 2014 after a prolonged struggle for power with his younger brother Stalin, also visited his father’s house and the hospital.

After receiving the news about Karunanidhi being admitted to hospital, party cadre from various parts of the state poured in there chanting “long live Thalaivar” (leader).

Hours before Karunanidhi was moved to the hospital, Stalin had said the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s health was improving. On Wednesday, he had assured people that there was nothing to worry about his father’s health.

Security was tightened at the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s residence as DMK cadres kept pouring in there as well.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit visited the hospital and enquired about the health of Karunanidhi with the hospital authorities, Stalin and other members of the DMK chief’s family.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami told reporters in Salem that the Tamil Nadu government was ready to provide all possible medical assistance to ailing Karunanidhi, who was a five-time CM, if it was approached.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “My prayers for Sh Karunanidhi’s fast recovery.”

State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar too wished the DMK supremo a speedy recovery.

Later in the day, senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik visited the family members of Karunanidhi and spoke to doctors at the hospital.

“Karunanidhiji is totally stable… he is improving… we are praying for his speedy recovery,” Azad told reporters, adding the Congress high command had directed them to enquire about the health of DMK veteran.

State Congress leaders including EVKS Elangovan, TNCC chief Su Thirunavukkarasar, were present at the hospital.

Actors including Prabhu and Nasser also paid a visit to the hospital.

For the past two years, the DMK president has not been making any public appearance owing to his ill health, but he still holds the top post in the Dravidian party.

A few days ago, he underwent a procedure to change his tracheostomy tube to help him in breathing.

Karunanidhi, who is addressed as ‘Kalaignar’ (artiste) by his supporters, followers and some politicians, entered his 50th year as party chief yesterday.

(PTI)