Chennai, June 3 (IANS) DMK President and five-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi turned 95 on Sunday and was greeted warmly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders across the country, cutting across party lines.
The mood at his residence in Gopalapuram and the party headquarters here was joyous as a large number of DMK cadres, who had gathered at both the places, cut cakes.
A smiling Karunanidhi came out of his house and waved at his fans amid chants of ‘Long Live Kalaignar’.
Karunanidhi’s son and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly M.K. Stalin, daughter and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and senior leaders of the party greeted him at his house.
Modi tweeted that Karunanidhi was a prolific writer, poet, thinker and orator.
“Best wishes to Kalaignar M. Karunanidhij… A prolific writer, poet, thinker and orator, Karunanidhiji is one of India’s senior-most political leaders. May he be blessed with a long and healthy life,” he said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi prayed for the health and happiness of the DMK leader.
“I would like to wish Karunanidhiji a very happy birthday! I pray for his good health and happiness, always,” Gandhi tweeted.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also conveyed her good wishes. “Warmest birthday greetings to M. Karunanidhiji. I pray for your good health and happiness.”
Various leaders in Tamil Nadu like Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan (of the Bharatiya Janata Party), DMDK Founder Vijayakanth, state Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar (of AIADMK) and several others also greeted him.
As part of the birthday celebrations, the DMK has organised various welfare programmes across the state like donating blood and distributing food to the poor.
Born on June 3, 1924, at Thirukuvalai, now in Nagapattinam district, Karunanidhi has never lost an election, having been elected to the state Assembly 13 times since 1957.
He was elected from Tiruvarur in the 2016 Assembly polls.
The leader has been was out of active politics for the past two years owing to health reasons. He did not participate in any public function and only visited the party headquarters a few times during this period.
The DMK has decided to celebrate Karunanidhi’s birthday throughout this month.