Instances when late DMK chief Karunanidhi played hide n seek over his retirement from active politics

Time and again, the late DMK chief who has had an influential political career spanning over six decades has hinted at bidding adieu to Tamil Nadu politics.

Published: 07th August 2018 09:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2018 10:41 AM   |  A+A-


DMK chief Karunanidhi (File | PTI)

By Online Desk

Time and again, the late DMK chief who has had an influential political career spanning over six decades has hinted at bidding adieu to Tamil Nadu politics. Here are the instances when ‘Kalaignar’ Karunanidhi had hinted at retirement from active politics: 

Oct 20, 2016

In an interview to a Tamil Publication, late DMK chief said, M K Stalin will be his political heir. On whether he will hand the baton to his younger son, the senior most politician claimed he was not tired of politics. When asked about retirement, Karunanidhi said, “Karunanidhi is someone who will give rest to the idea of retirement to work without retirement. But that doesn’t mean that I am not willing to hand over the baton to him. Already he is playing a crucial role in party affairs.”

June 28, 2010

In June,  2010 after classical Tamil meet, the DMK patriarch indicated that he was not planning to retire from politics in the near future. However, he had stunned DMK cadres and leaders in December 2009 when he had declared that he wanted to quit electoral politics after successfully completing the world Tamil conference. “I did not talk of retirement.” However, when reporters persisted with the query, he joked: “You tell me the date, I will quit.”

Also Read: When Kalaignar M Karunanidhi bid adieu to his black glasses after 46 years

March 24, 2010

“Please be patient till the World Tamil conference in June. There's a long time. I will consider both views among cadres - to continue as Chief Minister or to pass the mantle to M K Stalin,” Tamil Nadu CM had said, according to a media report. 

Feb 6, 2010

Giving a new twist to retirement plans, late DMK chief while speaking at a felicitation function said “while film industry people are eager to name that place after me, some people are ordering me to nagar (which means move in Tamil)... My moving out or to staying in office depends upon the verdict of the people.’’

January 15, 2010

Hinting yet again at his retirement from active politics, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had told the media he wished to soon follow in the footsteps of CPI(M) veteran Jyoti Basu, Dravida Kazagham leader, the late Periyar and former South African President Nelson Mandela.  “I am interested in following in their footsteps. Whatever good job that was left by us should be continued by the Deputy Chief Minister (his son M K Stalin)," the DMK patriarch said at an award function. 

Also Read: Film celebrities mourn the death of political and cultural icon M Karunanidhi

December 30, 2009 

Reiterating his retirement plans, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said that he would give up his ministerial position after the World Classical Tamil conference scheduled for June 2010 at Coimbatore. “Thereafter, I will sit one among you,” he said, at the inauguration of the 33rd Chennai Book Fair  

December 9, 2009

“Be patient and wait till June world classical Tamil conference.” This was the response of late CM and DMK president M. Karunanidhi on December 9, 2009, when asked about whom he would hand over the reins of the government following. He had earlier mentioned that he would like to step aside from the positions of power and politics to get closer to people. 

December 5, 2009

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi took the state and his DMK party by surprise on December 5, 2009, announcing his retirement post World Classical Tamil Conference to be held in Coimbatore in June. “I’ve realised many of my goals — except a few like constructing new Assembly complex, a world-class library named after Arignar Anna and holding the World Classical Tamil Conference in June 2010. After the conference, I will come closer to you, keeping away the politics, ministerial position, and I will be one among you,” the late Tamil Nadu chief minister said.

September 14, 2007

The DMK patriarch has left the question about his retirement hanging over his party cadres and the media alike. “I wish to take rest like you,” he told retired government employees at a state conference in Salem.  ``Looking at you, I also think how happy I can be if I retire,’’ he had said. He had also quipped that his statement would induce some newspapers to write editorials and others to publish speculations.

Also Read: Here's why M Karunanidhi named his son Stalin

"I made these comments only thinking that I should give some grist to the media mill, nothing else,’’ he added. If this is nothing, he bowled yet another googly. ``When I say nothing else, it doesn’t mean absolutely nothing. There are a thing or two, which my brothers (DMK men) understand,’’ he stated this, leaving everyone puzzled as to whether he wanted to retire or not.


Prior to the 2001 Assembly elections, which the DMK lost, Karunanidhi had declared that it would be his last elections.

India Matters


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