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Tributes pour in as former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi passes away

DMK chief M Karunanidhi has passed away, announced the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai earlier today.

Thousands of DMK supporters have gathered outside the hospital, where the 94-year former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was receiving treatment.

He was initially admitted to Kauvery Hospital on July 28 with urinary tract infection, with his condition deteriorating since.

Photograph: @narendramodi

“I have had the opportunity of interacting with Karunanidhi Ji on several occasions,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out. Firmly committed to democratic ideals, his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered.”

“He was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu’s voice was effectively heard.”

“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."

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said he is, "Deeply anguished by the demise of DMK stalwart M. Karunanidhi". Apart from politics, Mr. Karunanidhi raised social awareness with his knowledge in Tamil literature and screenplay writing for Tamil movies. He made a mark not only in Tamil Nadu politics but in national politics as well."

A statement from Congress said the DMK leader was "a true representative of our democracy and worked tirelessly for the people of Tamil Nadu. His contributions to the nation shall never be forgotten."