Even as political leaders cutting across party lines made a beeline for the residence of Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) patriarch M Karunanidhi, who is being treated for fever, party working chief and his son M.K. Stalin on Friday said the ailing leader’s condition was improving.
“There is good improvement in his health, the fever and infection are receding,” he told reporters.
President Ram Nath Govind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enquired about the 94-year-old DMK chief’s health.
The President tweeted: “Spoke to Thiru Karunanidhis family members on the phone and inquired about his health. Wishing the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, a veteran of our public life, a quick recovery #PresidentKovind.
Modi also wished Karunanidhi a quick recovery. “Spoke to Thiru @mkstalin and Kanimozhi Ji. Enquired about the health of Kalaignar Karunanidhi Ji and offered any assistance required. I pray for his quick recovery and good health. @kalaignar89 (sic),” he tweeted.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja also enquired about Karunanidhi’s health.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami, referring to the visit to Karunanidhi’s residence of his deputy O. Panneerselvam and three Ministers on Thursday night, said “they [DMK] have conveyed that Karunanidhi is doing better.”
As anxious cadres, political leaders, film personalities and well-wishers thronged the nonagenarian leader’s Gopalapuram residence, more police personnel and barricades were put up to regulate crowd.
Stalin’s brother and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri arrived at the residence along with his son Durai Dayanidhi.
DMK frontline leaders, including Duraimurugan, were present.
Party workers began thronging Karunanidhi’s residence after Kauvery Hospital, which is providing medical treatment for the leader, said in a bulletin on Thursday night that there had been a “slight decline” in his health.
MDMK chief Vaiko, Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan, CPI leader D Pandian and Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi leader Velmurugan visited Mr. Karunanidhi’s residence and enquired about his health from family members and Mr. Stalin.
Several film personalities, including veteran director Barathiraja, filmmakers T. Rajendhar and Vetrimaran visited the residence.
Visitors are not allowed to meet the ailing leader.
“Such fever after a tracheostomy procedure is usual. Mr. Stalin told me that he is fine. I am confident that he will bounce back with the same magnetic voice,” Vaiko told reporters.
Tamilisai Soundararajan said, “Kalaignar should get back to active life and that is my prayer. He presided over my marriage…”
She is the daughter of veteran Congress leader Kumari Ananthan, who is also a former Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee president. Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan said he prayed for the leader’s recovery.
Several wellwishers took to Twitter and other social media platforms to wish Mr. Karunanidhi well.
Thanking the President and Prime Minister, Stalin tweeted: “I am extremely grateful for their offers of help. Thalaivar is getting the best medical care and treatment. We hope he will recover soon and thank everyone in his own words.”
He also thanked Rahul Gandhi, Yechury and D Raja for calling up to enquire about the leader’s health.
“The concern and wishes from everyone will surely aid @kalaignar89’s recovery and we hope he will be able to meet everyone soon,” he said in another tweet.
Kauvery Hospital said in its a bulletin on Thursday night, “There has been a slight decline in the health of DMK president M Karunanidhi due to age-related ailments.”
Karunanidhi has been not keeping well since October 2016, and some days ago he had undergone a procedure to change his tracheostomy tube, provided to help in breathing.
On Wednesday, Mr. Stalin said Mr. Karunanidhi was suffering from fever and doctors were providing medication. He assured people that there was nothing to worry about the leader’s health.