Chennai, Aug 8: DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who took his last breath at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, was laid to rest at Marina near the Anna memorial with full state honours. The funeral procession of late Kalaignar started at 4 PM on Wednesday. (Live Updates)
The late DMK leader, who never rested was laid to rest, amid full state honours. Besides, tricolour was draped over him. A gun salute was also given to the late leader. A galaxy of leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, and his Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh counterparts Pinarayi Vijayan, K Chandrasekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu were in attendance. His mortal remains were kept at Rajaji Hall for VIPs and public to pay homage.
Karunanidhi’s son and heir apparent M K Stalin received the national flag wrapped around his father’s body. Other family members including the leader’s wife Rajathi Ammal, other sons and daughters showered flower petals at his feet.
A party statement released earlier in the day said that the procession would begin from Rajaji Hall, where his mortal remains are kept for public homage, by 4 PM, and proceed through Sivananda Road and Thanthai Periyar Road to reach Anna Square. (ALSO READ – ‘For Once, Shall I Call You Father’: Son Stalin Pens Emotional Poem For Karunanidhi)
He would be buried adjacent to mausoleum of former Chief Minister and his mentor CN Annadurai on the sands of Marina, it said.
“Party supporters and public are requested to stay calm during the procession and pay their respects to the unparallelled leader,” it said.
The golden casket in which the mortal remains of Karunanidhi was laid to rest has the engraving in Tamil, “Oivu edukamal uzhaithavan, idho oivu eduthu kondu irukiran, meaning “one who worked hard without taking rest, is resting in peace here”.
Karunanidhi was declared dead by the hospital where he was undergoing treatment since his admission on July 28 when his blood pressure had dipped.
“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.
The state government announced a seven-day mourning for Karunanidhi. The Indian national flag would fly half-mast during this period and all government-related functions would be cancelled, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan said.
The government declared a day’s holiday on Wednesday for Karunanidhi’s final rites.