NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today mourned the death of DMK president M Karunanidhi, describing him as a prolific thinker and a deep-rooted mass leader who stood for regional aspiration and national progress.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. 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 said in his tweets.
The PM said that he had the opportunity of interacting with Karunanidhi on several occasions and his understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out.
He was firmly committed to democratic ideals and his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered, Modi said.
"We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised," the PM said.
"My thoughts are with the family and the countless supporters of Karunanidhi Ji in this hour of grief. India and particularly Tamil Nadu will miss him immensely. May his soul rest in peace," he tweeted.
Karunanidhi died at 6.10 pm today at the age of 94 after prolonged illness.
"Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond," said a press release by Dr Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive Director of Kauvery Hospital.
"We profoundly mourn the loss of one of the tallest leaders of India and we share the grief of family members and fellow Tamilians worldwide," it added.
The veteran of Dravidian politics was shifted to the hospital on July 28 from his Gopalapuram residence following a dip in his blood pressure and he was under treatment in the Intensive Care Unit ever since.