Karunanidhi’s vital signs are “normalising” after a “transient setback” in his clinical condition, the Kauvery hospital said this evening. This new medical bulletin comes as Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam (DMK) leaders and cadres wait anxiously for their longtime leader, a five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister, to recover.
Andimuthu Raja, a senior DMK leader, repeated the information in the medical bulletin while speaking to reporters in the hospital premises, a scene of frenze due to the presence of party cadres. Raja cautioned his fellow partymen against believing rumours.
Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, who is a Rajya Sabha MP, said her father is better now.
Tributes and wishes for Karunanidhi’s recovery have poured in since news of his illness broke. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu met him today; both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind have wished him a quick recovery.
Barring Karunanidhi’s immediate family members, his visitors have been asked to leave Kauvery hospital. Meanwhile, the leaves of police personnel in Tamil Nadu have been cancelled.
Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has cancelled a meeting scheduled for tomorrow in Coimbatore, and is on his way back to Chennai.
DMK cadres from across Tamil Nadu have begun travelling to the capital. Cries of “Kalaignar [meaning scholar of arts], come back” were heard this evening outside the hospital.
Karunanidhi’s life in politics began when he was still a teenager. He worked as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry, but soon rose to the highest echelons of party administration and government. His most recent stint as chief minister ended in 2006.