People queued up at Rajaji Hall in large numbers early Wednesday morning to pay their last respects to DMK president M Karunanidhi who died on Tuesday after a prolonged illness.
The mortal remains of Karunanidhi was brought to Rajaji Hall in the early hours of Wednesday after it was taken to his homes at Gopalapuram and CIT Colony for relatives and leaders to pay their last respects to the departed leader.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, AMMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth and his family members, besides several senior state ministers and others paid homage to Karunanidhi.
Extending his sympathies to DMK working president and Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin, Karunanidhi’s family, and the DMK workers, Palaniswami said Karunanidhi’s demise was a “big loss to Tamil Nadu”.
Palaniswami and Panneerselvam could be seen speaking to Stalin.
Karunanidhi’s body was earlier brought to the Rajaji Hall from his CIT Nagar residence for the public to pay homage to the five-time former chief minister.
The Indian tricolour was draped over his body. His relatives, including children Stalin, MK Selvam and Kanimozhi, were standing by the mortal remains of the departed DMK patriarch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to pay homage later in the day to the leader, fondly addressed as Kalaignar (scholar of art).
As party leaders and MLAs sat along the stairs of Rajaji Hall, supporters and mourners started pouring early in the morning, some of them raising slogans hailing their ‘thalaivar’ (leader).
Chants of supporters seeking a space at the Marina beach for the burial of Karunanidhi could also be heard, especially during the visit of the AIADMK delegation.
The DMK had late Tuesday night moved the Madras High Court against the government’s refusal to allot space at the Marina for Karunanidhi’s burial citing certain court cases.
The AIADMK government had offered to allot space at Sardar Patel Road, near the memorials of former chief ministers C Rajagopalachary and K Kamaraj.
A High Court bench is slated to delver its verdict on the matter today.
The 94-year-old leader breathed his last at the Kauvery Hospital at 6.10 pm Tuesday after fighting for life for 11 days.
(With agency inputs)