On Tuesday night, reporters in Tamil Nadu received a picture from DMK patriarch Karunanidhi's office. The picture showed the DMK leader in conversation with the party's General Secretary Anbazhagan, Arcot Veerasamy and Working President MK Stalin.
The picture was released as rumours about M Karunanidhi's health had been spreading thick and fast in the state. It started with a news break around noon that all police battalions had been asked to report back to their stations. The police officers confirmed that this was only a routine exercise, the rumours persisted.
Soon, there were reports of extra security round Poes Garden and other areas of Chennai. Though this was attributed to CM Edappadi Palaniswami's visit to Apollo hospitals, by evening the buzz was strong about Karunanidhi's health.
In a bid to quash rumours, MK Stalin also spoke to the media. "He's perfectly fine. You guys (media) have unnecessarily spread a rumour", he said.
When asked if the rumours had been deliberately spread by AIADMK to deflect attention from the controversies surrounding Jayalalithaa's hospitalization, Stalin said, "You should ask this to those spreading the rumours. How many ever rumours they spread, they will be punished for their crimes. Even some media people are helping them spread these rumours. It's through you guys that maximum rumours have spread."
The DMK patriarch has not been attending public events for quite some time, but does meet people at his Gopalapuram residence in Chennai.