Karunanidhi in ICU, DMK party supporters throng outside hospital
Chennai: DMK president M Karunanidhi, who is being treated for fever due to urinary tract infection, was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai. Karunanidhi, 94, was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of Kauvery Hospital at 1:30 am. The hospital in a statement said he was brought there after his blood pressure dropped. “His blood pressure has been stabilised with medical management and he continues to be monitored and treated by the panel of experts,” the hospital said. Several senior DMK leaders, including working president M K Stalin and his estranged elder brother M K Alagiri were at the hospital. Other frontline leaders such as Duraimurugan, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and former Union minister A Raja were also there. Party cadres had poured in near the hospital complex after receiving the news about Karunanidhi being admitted there. They were chanting “long live Thalaivar” (leader). Some of them were holding Karunanidhi’s photos as they waited outside the hospital. The DMK leaders had visited Karunanidhi at his home in Gopalapuram area before he was taken to the hospital. Among the visitors was Alagiri, who was expelled from the party by the DMK chief in January 2014 after a prolonged struggle for power with Stalin. Hours before Karunanidhi was moved to the hospital, Stalin had said the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s health was improving. He had assured people that there was nothing to worry about his father’s health. Security was tightened at the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s residence as DMK cadres kept pouring in there as well. For the past two years, the DMK president has not been making any public appearance owing to his ill health, but he still holds the top post in the Dravidian party. Karunanidhi has not been keeping well since October 2016. A few days ago, he underwent a procedure to change his tracheostomy tube to help him in breathing. Karunanidhi, who is addressed as ‘Kalaignar’ (artiste) by his supporters, followers and some politicians, entered his 50th year as party chief.