In a departure from tradition, parliament adjourned for the day as the session started, in tribute to Tamil Nadu's iconic political leader M Karunanidhi, who died in Chennai yesterday. A five-time Chief Minister and a 13-time lawmaker, Mr Karunanidhi had never been a member of parliament.
After obituary references, both houses of parliament adjourned this morning. While it is a convention for parliament to adjourn to pay respects to departed members -- present and former -- the honour had never been extended to a non-member before.
Yesterday, the Centre had announced a day's national mourning for Mr Karunanidhi.
In his tribute to Mr Karunanidhi, actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha had tweeted: "We appeal to the people of Tamilnadu in particular to maintain calm/peace & the nation (read Parliament) in general to announce a national mourning befitting the persona & stature of Mr. Karunanidhi. May the departed soul RIP!"
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and other political leaders are heading for Chennai to pay their respects to Karunanidhi.
Mr Karunanidhi, the last of the iconic politicians in Tamil Nadu, will be given a state funeral. But the site became a matter of tussle after the ruling AIADMK refused to allow a burial near Chennai's Marina Beach. The DMK said the refusal "reeked of pettiness" and "political vendetta".
After a legal battle that started overnight, the Madras High Court has accepted the DMK's plea for Karunanidhi's burial near Anna Memorial. The court has also asked Tamil Nadu government to establish a memorial for "Kalaignar".
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