CHENNAI: The health condition of DMK president M Karunanidhi on Sunday suffered a ‘transient setback’, according to a medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital late Sunday night, even as the large crowd of DMK supporters, braving the elements for news of their leader, grew restless outside the hospital in Alwarpet.
“With the active medical support, his vital signs are normalising. Karunanidhi continues to be closely monitored and treated by panel of expert doctors,” the bulletin said.
Shortly after the bulletin was issued, former union minister and party propaganda secretary A Raja, addressing media outside the hospital, said the health of the former chief minister had suffered a temporary setback but his condition had improved with treatment. “Don’t believe rumours,” Raja urged supporters.
Rumours that the DMK chief’s health had deteriorated intensified all all members of Karunanidhi’s family, including DMK working president MK Stalin, Rajya Sabha MP M Kanimozhi, her mother Rajathi ammal, reached the hospital in the evening. Further, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was expected to reach Chennai by 12.30 am on Monday morning and come directly to the hospital.
Visuals of heavy security outside Kauvery Hospital in Chennai where DMK Chief M Karunanidhi is undergoing treatment. pic.twitter.com/6wQYmeEmlZ— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2018
The anxious cadres were heard chanting “elunthu va” (rise and come) and praying for their leader. With the strength of the crowd greater than on previous days, police security was beefed up with an IPS officer manning the entrance of the hospital and allowing very few people inside on Sunday evening.
After the hospital bulletin was released close to 10 pm, the relieved crowd, nonetheless did not disperse, leading to tense moments with police resorting to mild lathi-charge. Meanwhile, as members of the family started leaving the hospital, they were thronged by followers and media persons.
M K Alagiri, the DMK chief’s elder son, assured followed that his father was fine, as did Kanimozhi. Stalin, in a party statement, urged the cadre to remain calm, reiterating what was said in the hospital bulletin and asking that they cooperated with police. Nonetheless, well past midnight, the crowd stayed put, as Raja and other party leaders returned to the hospital.
The setback came as a shock to many as earlier in the day, DMK had released a photo of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, with Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, visiting the former chief minister at the hospital.
Photo with Naidu brings hope to fans
While the DMK chief K Karunanidhi was seen sleeping, followers noted that he did not appear to be on any life support and became hopeful.
This was the first time since Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital at 1.30 am on Saturday that the outside world was able to see the leader. Naidu, who was in the city to participate in various events, stepped into the hospital, at noon. Accompanied by Purohit, Union Minister of State for Finance and Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan and Tamil Nadu Minister for Fisheries D Jayakumar, he enquired about the health of Karunanidhi with Stalin, Kanimozhi and the doctors attending to him.
Later, the Naidu tweeted, “Visited Kaveri Hospital and met former Chief Minister Thiru Kalaignar Karunanidhi. Met his family members and doctors and enquired about his health.”
"Doctors said he is stable. Wish him a speedy recovery,” he added.
Rajya Sabha Member TKS Elangovan told Express at the time, “he is stable. Blood Pressure has come back to normal level.”
A DMK MLA, who has been in the hospital for long, said his party leader was likely to be discharged in two days as per the advice of the doctors. Through the day, a host of political leaders from various parties trooped to Kauvery Hospital to share wishes for a speedy recovery.
“I have come here to convey my wishes for him to overcome the present crisis in health,” CPM general secretary Sitharam Yechury told reporters after visiting the hospital. The party’s Rajya Sabha Member L Ganesan also visited the hospital.
BJP leaders visit DMK chief
BJP’s national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, after visiting Kauvery Hospital, wished Karunanidhi a speedy recovery and hoped he would return to active politics.
“His contribution and leadership is needed to the country,” he said.
Muralidhar Rao was accompanied by State BJP president Dr Tamilisai Soundarrajan and senior leader CP Radhakrishnan.