DMK Chief Karunanidhi Extremely Critical, Unstable

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DMK cadres continued to throng the Kauvery Hospital premises, from where Karunanidhi's body, was taken to his Gopalapuram residence.

The medical bulletin released on July 31 had informed that the former Chief Minister requires an extended period of hospitalisation due to age-related overall decline in Karunanidhi's general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters. It's been a long journey for the his clan that made it to the top of Tamil Nadu politics.

In the years that followed, the state government alternated between Karunanidhi and its main political rival, the AIADMK.

He soon became close to fellow screenwriter C.N. Annadurai, who also happened to be the founder of the DMK and later went on to become the first chief minister of Tamil Nadu. In the two decades since, both parties and their respective leaders have traded power every five years.

Karunanidhi's predecessor Annadurai was also in office when he died. He refused to pay the penalty, stayed in prison for more than a year and since then came to be known as "Kallakudi konda Karunanidhi" (Karunanidhi who won Kallakudi). However, it lasted only for two years as he was dismissed by the then Prime Minister Chandrasekar on charges of helping the LTTE in the state. Mr Karunanidhi's DMK swept the election, riding a wave of anti-incumbency.

The place for the burial of the leader is still under doubts as the Tamil Nadu government rejected the DMK's demand for allotting space on the Marina beach.

The biggest blot in Karunanidhi's political life was his decision to support the BJP-led government at the centre in 1999 when Jayalalithaa withdrew her support. His three wives were late Padmavathy, Dayalu and Rajathi.

His popularity had not waned even though he handed over the reins of his Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party to his son M.K. Stalin. Alagiri was a Union minister during the UPA government, while Stalin is now the treasurer of DMK and has been declared Karunanidhi's successor in the party.