M Karunanidhi’s illness shock drives 21 DMK cadres to suicide

Chennai: Twenty one DMK members have died unable to bear the shock of party president Kalaignar, said his son and working president M.K. Stalin while pleading no more deaths should occur on this count.

“No one should take any extreme step that may result in loss of life”, he said in a statement on Thursday, as his 94-year-old father continued his battle for life for the fifth day in the ICU of the Kauvery Hospital here.

He said at a time when he was already saddened by the ailment of the leader, he was further distressed by the news that 21 party members have died unable to bear the shock that Kalaignar, whom every cadre considered as the “breath of life”, was now hospitalised due to illness. He did not, however, disclose the details of the persons who died.

“As stated by the Kauvery Hospital, Kalaignar's health has been improving. This is good news and gives us confidence”, Stalin said, adding that the emotional slogans from the cadres gathered outside the hospital braving pouring rain and screaming, ‘Thalaiva Va’ (Leader, Come), has not gone in vain as seen in the Kauvery statement.

“DMK is an impregnable fort. I appeal to the party cadres that they should realise that I cannot bear the loss of even a single member’s life”, Stalin said, adding that the principle of "duty, dignity and discipline should be followed making Anna (party founder) and Kalaignar proud”.

Actors Vijay and Ajith visited the hospital to enquire with Stalin about his father's health condition. While Vijay went in the morning in a small Maruti Alto to escape from the eyes of the large crowd of DMK cadres and the big media contingent parked outside the hospital, Ajith went later in the evening.

Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital on July 28 following a dip in his blood pressure. Kauvery's executive director Dr Aravindan Selvaraj said in a press release on Wednesday that an "extended period of hospitalization" would be necessary "due to age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters".

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