Intensive medical support provided, says hospital

DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s health suffered a setback on Sunday evening but with medical support his vital signs were normalising in the night. His son and party working president M.K. Stalin appealed to anxious DMK cadre, who had assembled in large numbers outside the Kauvery Hospital in Alwarpet and at Mr. Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence, to remain calm and disperse.

“There was a transient setback in the clinical condition of Kalaignar Dr.M. Karunanidhi, DMK president and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. With active medical support, his vital signs are normalising. He continues to be closely monitored and treated by the panel of expert doctors,” a medical bulletin issued at 9.50 p.m. by Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, executive director, Kauvery Hospital, said.

Frenetic activity

In the evening when his health deteriorated, frenetic activity was witnessed at the hospital, with many of his family members, including wife Rajathi Ammal and children, coming to the hospital one after the other. Several senior DMK leaders, including general secretary K. Anbazhagan, also arrived there. The police stepped up security with additional reinforcements being rushed to the hospital as thousands of anxious cadres began gathering at the gates. Many of them were screaming, Ezhunthu va, ezhunthu va, Annavin thambiye ezhunthu va (Get up and come, Anna’s brother).

Till close to midnight the crowd refused to leave, despite the hospital issuing a bulletin that Mr. Karunanidhi was recovering. This prompted Mr. Stalin to issue a statement reassuring them that as per the medical bulletin issued by the hospital, there was a sudden temporary setback in the DMK president’s health but after intensive treatment by doctors he was recovering. “I appeal to the cadres not to give scope for any untoward incident or cause any hardship to the public,” he said, urging them to maintain calm and cooperate with the police, who were maintaining law and order.

Earlier, DMK propaganda secretary A. Raja too appealed in person to the cadres to disperse. The police resorted to a mild lathi charge to keep the crowd at bay. Mr. Karunanidhi’s close family members, including Mr. Stalin and his elder brother M.K. Alagiri, left the hospital around 11.15 p.m. “Appa [father] is fine. That’s why I am leaving for home,” Mr. Alagiri told journalists. Mr. Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi, said, “He is much better.”

On Sunday morning, the DMK released a photograph of Mr. Karunanidhi lying on his hospital bed when Vice- President Venkaiah Naidu and Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit visited him in the presence of some family members. Mr. Naidu later 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.” During the course of the day, regional party leaders from Tamil Nadu visited the hospital to enquire about his health.

PMK founder Dr. S. Ramadoss told reporters, “He should recover soon; that is my wish. (It’s) not just my wish, the whole State wishes for his recovery.”

MDMK leader Vaiko was stopped at the hospital entrance when he arrived as the Vice-President’s convoy was leaving. He was seen arguing with police officials. However, he got back into his car and waited till the convoy left.

Mr. Vaiko spent nearly an hour at the hospital. Later, speaking to the media, he said Mr. Karunanidhi was doing much better now.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, BJP national general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao, Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, Madurai Aadheenam Arunagirinatha Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya were among those who visited the hospital.

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