Ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi is extremely critical and unstable, a city hospital where he is being treated said today, as frenzied multitude of party supporters gathered outside the facility with prayers on their lips.
"There has been significant decline in the clinical condition of Kalaignar M Karunanidhi over the last few hours. Despite maximum medical support, his vital organ functions continue to deteriorate.
Karunanidhi was admitted to the hosptial on July 28 following a dip in his blood pressure. He is in the ICU ever since.
Hundreds of people have gathered outside the hospital in downtown Alwarpet, some of whom have kept vigil since yesterday evening after the word spread about a marked decline in the 94-year-old leader's condition.
Tears rolling down their cheeks, some were seen mumbling prayers for their beloved leader, while others feverishly chanted "Ezunthu Vaa Thalaiva (arise leader and come)."
A man was seen beating himself on the chest and face in utter desperation. A woman in the crowd fainted as others rushed to her help, sprinkling water on her face.
A large number of people carried DMK's red-and-black flags and photographs of Karunanidhi, a five-time chief minister of the state whose public life has spanned over seven decades.
As concerns over Karunanidhi's condition mounted, his son and DMK working president M K Stalin called on Chief Minister K Palaniswami at his residence and was closeted with him for some time, officials said.
Palaniswami also held a meeting with top officials where he reviewed the situation.
Security has been enhanced at the hospital and the Gopalapuram residence of the nonagenarian leader.
A general alert has been sounded across the state and security tightened at vital installations, officials said.