Leaders across the political spectrum including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi today condoled the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, hailing him as a deep-rooted mass leader and harbinger of politics of deprived.
President Ram Nath Kovind called Karunanidhi a "doyen of our public life" who had few peers while Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said the Tamil leader left a mark of his own during his long public life of about 80 years.
Karunanidhi, who dominated the state's politics for over six decades along with his arch-rivals MG Ramachandran first and then with J Jayalalithaa, died at a hospital in Chennai this evening. He was 94.
"Kalaignar Karunanidhi stood for regional aspirations as well as national progress. He was steadfastly committed to the welfare of Tamils and ensured that Tamil Nadu's voice was effectively heard," Modi tweeted.
Gandhi would be travelling to Chennai tomorrow, along with other senior Congress leaders, to pay homage to Karunanidhi and participate in his last rites.
"Loved by the Tamilian people, Kalaignar strode the stage of Tamil politics, like a colossus, for over 6 decades. In his passing, India has lost a great son. My condolences to his family as also to the millions of Indians who grieve for their beloved leader tonight," he said on Twitter.
BJP chief Amit Shah said Karunanidhi had an impressive life journey, starting as a screen writer in Tamil film industry to being five term Chief Minister of the state. "No one can forget his struggle during Emergency."
JD-S supremo H D Deve Gowda said the Tamil leader was a "doyen of our public life and that his opposition to emergency will always be remembered.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said the country has lost a versatile genius who was an outstanding artist, an eminent writer and a true leader who always stood for the cause of the poor and downtrodden classes of the society.
"Dr. Karunanidhi was the harbinger of politics of deprived and politics of the poor in the state of Tamil Nadu. Dr. Karunanidhi represented scientific temper and creation of a caste less society," he said.
"He paved path for youngsters of the state to follow the Dravidian philosophy and he will always be known for his contribution to this ideology," said Kharge.
BJP veteran L K Advani described Karunanidhi as a doyen of Indian politics and a man of committed ideals.
"He was a doyen of Indian politics who had started his career after independence. He was a man of committed ideals, he excelled in the field of politics and had also made valuable contributions to the Tamil literature," Advani said in a statement.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)