RIP Karunanidhi: A leader who never lost an election in his 61-year long career

Updated:5 months, 2 weeks ago IST

New Delhi, Aug 08 (ANI): Five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) patriarch, M Karunanidhi passed away at the age of 94, on Tuesday. He is remembered as one of the dominant figures in southern India politics. One of the most outspoken atheist politico, Karunanidhi built his political machine as a crusader for social justice. His policies were aimed at helping India’s downtrodden. His journey from a scriptwriter to a Chief Minister has been a story of power struggle and inspiration. In his career of 61 years, the DMK chief did not lose a single election. Karunanidhi, who led DMK for about 50 years, had been treated in hospital since July 26 for age-related ailments including urinary tract infections. His death comes less than two years after that of his political rival, actress-turned politician J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK. He criticized organized religion and superstition and was known for his sharp wit. The iconoclastic leader also tried to install non-Brahmins as priests in temples. He was known for drawing foreign investors to India’s second largest state economy, and oversaw the state becoming an industrial powerhouse. Karunanidhi’s career was not free of allegations, the leader faced allegations of corruption and nepotism. Many of his close family members served as lawmakers and his son MK Stalin is his de facto successor. DMK party heads have allegedly sent forward a petition requesting the ruling Tamil Nadu government to allow for a memorial to be built for the late leader at Marina beach, but are yet to receive a response on the same. The leader is survived by his 3 wives and 6 children. Tamil Nadu government has announced a public holiday on August 8 as a mark of respect for late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

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