DMK cadre and supporters from across the State are waiting outside Chennai's Kauvery Hospital, where Kalaignar is being treated.

Ground Report Amid sea of emotions Karunanidhi supporters keep hopes up for their leader
news Politics Saturday, July 28, 2018 - 14:38

The scorching afternoon heat is no deterrent to the hundreds of DMK cadre, both men and women, who are waiting outside Chennai’s Kauvery Hospital on Saturday for an update on their leader’s health.

In the wee hours of Saturday, the 94-year-old veteran politician and five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi, was rushed to Kauvery Hospital from his residence in Gopalapuram, following a drop in his pulse. The ailing leader was suffering from a fever due to a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and is currently being treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Outside the hospital, loyal supporters and cadre wait, teary eyed, for an update on Kalaignar’s health.

Cadre organisers and women’s wing leaders have arrived from different parts of the city and even the State to express their unwavering support.

“He has to come back and meet his cadre, his followers and his women supporters. I reached here at 5 am and I will wait until I get an update. He lives in the heart of every Tamil and he is indestructible. DMK is indestructible,” says Fathima Beevi (52), Pudukkottai district cadre organiser, who is clad in Dravidian coloured red-and-black uniform.

Strong support from the women cadre is seen outside the hospital with several women raising slogans and tearing up as they wait to hear from hospital authorities.

“Only if he (Kalaignar) is there, will there be development for the women. He has worked to empower us and we will wait right here until we hear from the authorities about his status,” points out Saraswathi, who has travelled from Thiruvallur district to Chennai and has been waiting near hospital since 6 am on Saturday.

Even DMK supporters from as far as Theni and Bengaluru have arrived Kauvery. Holding posters, party flags and placards of Kalaignar and Stalin, these supporters have lost hope.

Arunaselar from Theni district, says, “We have hope. God will save him. I reached Chennai yesterday and was waiting at Gopalapuram to catch a glimpse of him. I could not. So I came to the hospital at 8 am."

Prabhakar, who has come from Bengaluru on hearing about the leader’s ill-health, said, “I reached last night and I’m not going back until he is all right.”

The entrance to the hospital has been barricaded with over 200 policemen manning the premises. Tight security is put in place with entry restricted to the public, barring media persons, MLAs and others who want to visit the hospital.

The barricades have been moved temporarily to allow leaders and prominent personalities to enter the hospital. Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, AMMK chief TTV Dinakaran, RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy, CPI (M) leader Mutharasan and several DMK leaders were among those who paid Kalaignar a visit on Saturday morning.