CHENNAI, Aug 7 - DMK chief M Karunanidhi, one of the foremost Dravidian politicians in modern times, died here today, after waging a grim battle for life, the hospital where he was admitted for the last 11 days said. He was 94.
One of the most charismatic figures of Tamil Nadu politics whose public life spanned over seven decades, is survived by two wives and six children, including DMK working president and heir apparent M K Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP.
The most enduring mascot of the Dravidian movement breathed his last at 6.10 pm.
�With deep anguish we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar M Karunanidhi on 07.08.2018 at 6.10 pm. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond.
�We profoundly mourn the loss of one of the tallest leaders of India and we share the grief of family members and fellow Tamilians worldwide,� a press release by Dr Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive Director of Kauvery Hospital, said.
President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned his death.
�Extremely sad to learn of the passing of Thiru M Karunanidhi. A doyen of our public life, as a contributor to the development of Tamil Nadu and of India he has few peers. Our country is poorer today. My condolences to his family and millions of well-wishers,� Kovind tweeted.
Modi said Karunanidhi stood for regional aspirations as well as national progress.
�Deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised,� Modi said in a series of tweets.
Hundreds of them kept vigil outside the hospital overnight, but when the hospital came out with another bulletin at 4.30 pm today, describing his condition as �extremely critical and unstable�, the milling crowd grew delirious and dramatic scenes began unfolding.
Cries of �Ezunthu Vaa Thalaiva (arise leader and come),� rent the air as DMK supporters bearing the red-and- black party flags broke into feverish chants hailing the stalwart.
However, their prayers went unanswered, with the hospital announcing his death at 6.10 p.m.
Karunanidhi became the chief minister for the first time in 1969 after the demise of Annadurai. He subsequently helmed the state as chief minister in 1971, 1989, 1996 and 2006.
He was elected to the Legislative Assembly 13 times, the last time as a 92-year-old in 2016. � PTI