Life and family of DMK supremo ‘Kalaignar’ M Karunanidhi

Karunanidhi married three times to late Padmavathy, Dayalu Ammal, and Rajathiammal. He has four sons— M K Muthu, M K Alagiri, M K Stalin, and M K Tamilarasu and two daughters— Selvi and Kanimozhi.

Published: 07th August 2018 07:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2021 08:02 PM   |  A+A-

M Karunanidhi cuts the cake on the occasion of his birthday is seen alongwith his family members. (File Photo| EPS)

By Online Desk

Muthuvel Karunanidhi, born in 1924, was the supremo of one of Tamil Nadu's major political parties Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). Fondly called Kalaignar for his interest in arts and literature, he was a five-time CM of Tamil Nadu.

He had three wives - the late Padmavathy, Dayalu Ammal, and Rajathiammal. He has four sons— M K Muthu, M K Alagiri, M K Stalin, and M K Tamilarasu and two daughters— Selvi and Kanimozhi. His oldest son Muthu was born to his late wife Padmavathy; Azhagiri, Stalin, Tamilarasu, and Selvi were born to Dayaluammal, while Kanimozhi is the only daughter from his third wife, Rajathiammal.

First son M K Muthu born to late Padmavathy and had a brief stint in film and politics. He acted in a couple of Tamil films and also sang a few numbers in some of his films.

ALSO READ | M Karunanidhi: A journey to reckon with

Second son M K Alagiri born to Dayalu Ammal, was Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers from 13 June 2009 – 20 March 2013. Settled in Madurai after marriage, he was once the party strongman in the southern districts of the city. There had been various clashes in the state between his supporters and those of his younger brother MK Stalin over succession and leadership of the party till Karunanidhi ruled in Stalin's favour.

The third son MK Stalin, also born to the Kalaignar’s second wife, is a longtime member of the party and was the Deputy CM of Tamil Nadu from 2009 to 2011. Previously, he was the Mayor of Chennai from 1996 to 2002. Treasurer and the Youth Wing President of the DMK, Stalin was named the party supremo’s heir, thus ending the confusion around who would be the anointed successor.

Fourth son M K Tamilarasu also born to Dayalu Ammal, is a businessman and a film producer. He is a well-known campaigner for his father’s party. His son Arulnithi is an actor in the Tamil film industry, like his cousin Udayanidhi (son of Stalin), and is best known for playing the lead role in Vamsam, directed by Pandiraj.

ALSO READ | Where the legend of Karunanidhi began

Fifth in the lineage is his first daughter, M K Selvi.

The sixth and last of Karunanidhi’s children is Kanimozhi. Born to his third wife Rajathiammal, Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP. A poet and journalist, she functions as the chief of the party’s wing for Art, Literature and Rationalism, and is seen as her father's "literary heir".


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