DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi -- five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who dominated the state's politics for six decades along with arch-rivals MG Ramachandran and later, J Jayalalithaa -- died at a hospital in Chennai this evening. The 94-year-old leader was admitted to the hospital on July 28 after he contracted urinary tract infection and developed a high fever. He died at 6.10 pm.
In 1969, Mr Karunanidhi became a Chief Minister after DMK ideologue CN Annadurai died in office. Three years later, he fell out with MG Ramachandran and shunted him out of the party - leading to the formation of life-long rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagamor AIADMK.
The AIADMK came to power in 1977 and MGR ensured that M Karunanidhi's party stayed out of power as long as he was alive. Mr Karunanidhi regained to power in power in 1989 after MGR's death.
M Karunanidhi returned to power again in 1996, after corruption charges caused a major loss of face for Jayalalithaa. Since then, the two parties have been voted in alternately - a tradition that was broken in 2016, when Jayalalithaa was elected for a second straight term.
Like MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, Mr Karunanidhi quit a flourishing career in movies to devote himself to politics and the Dravidian movement led by Periyar EVR -- which he joined soon after it started in 1949.
The "Kalaignar" (artiste) was known for his film scripts - a skill that greatly helped him in his political career. His powers of oratory bestowed on him a cult status much similar to Jayalalithaa.
M Karunanidhi regained to power in power in 1989 after MGR's death. But in the emotional aftermath of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, he was shunted out as he was seen to be close to the Lankan outfit LTTE, responsible for the bomb attack on the former Prime Minister.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi was the five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who dominated the state's politics for six decades along with arch-rivals MG Ramachandran and later, J Jayalalithaa.
Karunanidhi's powers of oratory bestowed on him a cult status much similar to Jayalalithaa