LIVE: People throng Rajaji Hall to pay last respects to Karunanidhi


New Delhi, People queued up in large numbers early this morning at Rajaji Hall in Chennai to pay their last respects to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam  president M Karunanidhi who died yesterday after prolonged illness.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, senior state ministers, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dinakaran, superstar Rajinikanth and his family, and actor Sivakarthikeyan among others paid homage to Karunanidhi. Here are the LIVe updates:

-Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays last respects to former CM M Karunanidhi  at Chennai’s Rajaji Hall.

-Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to M Karunanidhi

-MK Stalin breaks down after Madras High Court’s verdict to allow the burial of former CM M Karunanidhi at Chennai’s Marina beach.

-Case against denial of burial land by Tamil Nadu Govt at Marina beach for M Karunanidhi  Tamil Nadu govt’s lawyer says ‘DMK is pursuing political agenda by filing this case. DK Chief Periyar was the tallest leader of Dravidian movement. Was he buried at Marina beach?’

-Visuals of heavy security outside Anna Memorial at Marina beach. Hearing in the case against denial of burial land by Tamil Nadu Govt at Marina beach for M Karunanidhi is underway at Madras High Court.

Speaking to reporters, Palaniswami said Karunanidhi’s demise was a “big loss to Tamil Nadu”.

He extended his sympathies to DMK working president and Leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, Karunanidhi’s family, and the DMK workers.

Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had a brief conversation with Stalin during which they apparently extended their sympathies to him over the loss.

Karunanidhi’s body was earlier brought to the stately Rajaji Hall from his CIT Nagar residence for the public to pay homage to the former chief minister.

The Indian tricolour was draped over the body of Karunanidhi. His relatives, including children Stalin, MK Selvam and Kanimozhi, were seen standing beside the mortal remains of the Dravidian stalwart.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others are scheduled to pay homage later in the day to the leader, fondly addressed as Kalaignar (artiste).

Grim-faced party leaders and MLAs were seen seated along the stairs of Rajaji Hall.

Supporters and mourners started pouring in at Rajaji Hall early in the morning, with some of them raising slogans hailing their ‘thalaivar’ (leader).

Chants of supporters seeking a space at the Marina beach for the burial of Karunanidhi could also be heard, especially during the visit of the AIADMK delegation.