Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi died in Chennai on August 7 at the age of 94. His death was followed by tributes and condolences from politicians as well as film and sports personalities.
The AIADMK government in the state has denied a site for his burial at the Marina Beach, as requested by the DMK.
Karunanidhi was hospitalised since July 28. Though doctors initially said his health improved, they said on Monday and earlier on Tuesday that the DMK chief’s condition was rapidly declining and that his vital organs were deteriorating. Several national leaders inquired about his health and many others visited him in hospital.
July 27 marked the 49th year of Karunanidhi’s term as president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
1: 30 am: The Tamil Nadu government’s counsel argued that when former chief minister MG Ramachandran’s wife Janaki, who was also a former chief minister, died, Karunanidhi had made it clear that Marina was only for sitting chief ministers, not all former CMs.
A lawyer for activist Traffic Ramaswamy, meanwhile, said that they have no objection to a memorial for Karunanidhi and said their case has nothing to do with it.
1:14 am: After arguments by advocates representing the DMK, the hearing has been adjourned to 8 am on Wednesday morning, giving time for the government to file its reply.
12:45 am: According to a reporter from the Hindu, the Madras High Court’s registrar has arrived at the Acting Chief Justice’s residence with the DMK’s case bundle.
12:10 am: Five petitioners who had challenged Jaya memorial have said they are ready to withdraw the case to facilitate Karunanidhi’s memorial, per reports. But since activist Traffic Ramaswamy refused to withdraw, arguments have begun.
12:05 am: Speaking to the media, DMK’s S Duraisamy said that his petition does not cover the area being proposed for the Karunanidhi memorial, and, moreover, that that spot also would not fall into the Coastal Regulation Zone that would prevent a memorial from being built there.
11:59 pm: According to TimesNow, one of the other petitioners, Traffic Ramaswamy, does not want to withdraw his petition against memorials on Marina Beach.
11:54 pm: The Pattali Makkal Katchi’s Balu has also reached the acting Chief Justice’s residence to withdraw his petition against a memorial in Marina beach. The government had earlier mentioned legal and environmental challenges against a memorial on the beach. If the petitions are withdrawn, the legal reason will no longer be valid.
11:51 pm: S Duraisamy, who filed one of the petitions against the Jayalalithaa memorial at Marina beach, has reportedly reached the acting Chief Justice’s residence to withdraw his petition. If all three are withdrawn, the matter will no longer be sub-judice except for the DMK’s petition from tonight.
11:49 pm: The Bihar government has announced a two-day state mourning period in the aftermath of Karunanidhi’s death.
11:44 pm: Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi chief Thol Thirumavalan has called on the Centre to award M Karunanidhi the Bharat Ratna posthumously.
11:18 pm: TV channels are reporting that counsels for the DMK and the government have arrived at the acting chief justice of the Madras High Court’s residence. Justice SS Sundar has also arrived and reportedly had to walk in because of the crowd of DMK supporters outside. The hearing has begun.
11:10 pm: Reports suggest West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reached Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence and is paying tribute to the five-time chief minister.
11:01 pm: Rashtriya Swayamesevak Sangh ideologue S Gurumurthy told CNN-News18 that Karunanidhi should not be buried at Marina beach. “All the former chief ministers, including Rajaji and Kamraj, have been given burial on the other side near the IIT. It is only sitting Chief Ministers who are buried on the Marina Beach. So technically, former Chief Minister should be on the other side where other former CMs are buried,” he said.
10.38 pm: DMK lawyers reach Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice HG Ramesh’s residence. They moved the court demanding a burial spot at Marina beach, alongside other former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, following the death of Karunanidhi.
Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan had said Karunanidhi will not be buried by the Anna Memorial on the beach. The state government has allotted a burial site at the Gandhi Mandapam in Guindy instead.
10.23 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reaches Chennai, is expected to go to Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence soon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to reach Chennai at 10.30 am on Wednesday. Several other leaders are also expected to attend the funeral.
10.21 pm: All petrol outlets in Tamil Nadu will be closed on Wednesday, reports the Hindustan Times.
10.12 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi joins the chorus seeking space at Marina Beach for the DMK chief. “Like Jayalalitha ji, Kalaignar was an expression of the voice of the Tamil people. That voice deserves to be given space on Marina Beach,” he says.
10.10 pm: Actor Rajinikanth also urges the state government to provide land at the Marina beach. “This would be the highest respect we would be paying to him,” he says.
10.08 pm: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah says the people of Tamil Nadu will not forgive the state government if it denies burial to the DMK chief at the Marina beach.
9.58 pm: Karunanidhi’s body will be taken to Rajaji Hall in the Government Estate at 4 am on Wednesday, reports The Hindustan Times. It will be placed at his home in Gopalapuram in Chennai till 1 am, and then taken to his daughter Kanimozhi’s home.
9.50 pm: National flag to fly at half mast on Wednesday in Delhi as well as all state capitals, ANI reports. Karunanidhi will be accorded state funeral in Chennai.
9.18 pm: The acting chief justice will hear the DMK’s petition at 10.30 pm.
9.03 pm: The DMK moves Madras High Court seeking space to bury Karunanidhi at the Marina Beach. The party’s advocates seek midnight hearing from acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh.
8.53 pm: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says the Tamil Nadu government “should not play politics”. “On such occasions, government and parties should be above politics,” he said. “He deserves rightful place even after his demise.” The state government has denied the DMK’s request to bury Karunanidhi at Chennai’s Marina Beach.
8.52 pm: Workers of the DMK are protesting outside Kauvery Hospital after the state government denied land for a memorial for Karunanidhi at Marina Beach, reports ANI.
8.49 pm: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao says India has lost a political stalwart.
8.48 pm: The Congress party has lost an important friend, says spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, according to The Indian Express.
8.45 pm: Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan announces a seven-day mourning period and says state honours will be accorded to Karunanidhi. The Indian national flag will fly half mast during the week.
8.40 pm: Reports say Karunanidhi’s body will be kept at his Gopalapuram residence until 1 am.
8.36 pm: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda says Karunanidhi showed the path to regional parties, and calls him a “mature leader and a statesman”.
8.30 pm: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will travel to Chennai on Wednesday with party colleagues Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik, reports ANI.
8.10 pm: Modi, Chief Ministers of Telangana, K Chandrashekar Rao, and Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, are expected to reach Chennai on Wednesday for the last rites of Karunanidhi, according to News18.
8.03 pm: Hundreds of DMK supporters have gathered outside the hospital to mourn the leader. MK Stalin, in a statement, has appealed to party workers to maintain peace and discipline, ANI reports.
8 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami says: “The DMK chief was someone who had contributed to the fields of politics, cinema and literature.” The state government has declared a holiday on Wednesday and a week of mourning following the death of the five-time chief minister.
7.55 pm: Senior DMK leader Duraimurugan says a delegation of party leaders had met Palaniswami and asked for space on the Marina Beach to bury Karunanidhi. However, the government has not yet given them a definite answer, he says outside Kauvery Hospital.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, however, has said that Karunanidhi will not be buried on Marina beach, reports Puthiya Thalaimurai.
7.35 pm: Rahul Gandhi calls Karunanidhi a “great son” of India, who “strode the stage of Tamil politics, like a colossus, for over six decades”.
7.25 pm: “He 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,” the Congress party says on Twitter. Some time earlier, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “Tamil politics can never be the same again.”
7.22 pm: More reactions pour in, from BJP chief Amit Shah, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union minister Smriti Irani. Several other political leaders, film, sports and media personalities have also expressed their condolences:
7.18 pm: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu says Karunanidhi was “one of the leading and long-standing politicians of our country who left a mark of his own during his long public life of about 80 years, including 56 years as Member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly”.
7.10 pm: Actor Rajinikanth says the day when “my Kalaignar died” is an “unforgettable black day”.
7.05 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls Karunanidhi “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”. He is expected to reach Chennai on Wednesday for the last rites.
7 pm: President Ram Nath Kovind says India is “poorer” today with the death of the DMK chief. “A doyen of our public life, as a contributor to the development of Tamil Nadu and of India he has few peers,” Kovind says.
6.45 pm: Scenes outside Kauvery Hospital after doctors announced Karunanidhi’s death: