NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet today condoled the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and a doyen of Dravidian politics M Karunanidhi, a day after he was laid to rest on the Marina beachfront in Chennai, and observed that the country has lost a "veteran and distinguished" leader.
The Union Cabinet, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, condoled the demise of the 94-year-old leader, who had passed away on August 7 at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai.
It observed a two-minute silence in his memory and passed a condolence resolution.
"The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Dr M Karunanidhi, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on August 7, 2018 at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai.
In his death, the country has lost a veteran and distinguished leader, affectionately called 'Kalaignar'," the resolution stated.
The DMK patriarch was laid to rest on the Marina beachfront as a sea of humanity bid him a tearful farewell after an unsavoury courtroom battle his party won to secure for him the final resting place at the Chennai landmark.
The country's high and mighty had descended on the city to pay their last respects to the "Thalaivar" (the leader), a school dropout, who left an indelible imprint on the state's public life over decades through his literary, cinematic and political achievements.
Muthuvel Karunanidhi, born in Thirukkuvalai village in Nagapattinam District on June 3, 1924, had held various important positions in his public and political life during his long career in Tamil Nadu political arena.
He entered Tamil Nadu Assembly winning Kulithalai seat in the 1957 elections at the age of 33 and became a minister in the Tamil Nadu government in 1967, and then rose to become the chief minister of the state for the first time in 1969. He held the position of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister five times.
"Apart from his political life and career, he has been very popular screenwriter in Tamil cinema. He used medium of cinema for propagating the ideals of the Dravidian movement." Dr M Karunanidhi was also famous for his writing and oratorical skills. His contribution to Tamil literature has been profound and prolific covering a wide range i.e. poems, screenplays, novels, biographies, stage-plays, dialogues and movie songs," an official statement said.
In his death, people of Tamil Nadu have lost their popular leader.
"The Cabinet extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family as well as the people of Tamil Nadu on behalf of the government and the entire nation," it said.