Karunanidhi: Grand old man of Tamil politics is 90

Chennai, June 3 (IANS) M. Karunanidhi, former Tamil Nadu chief minister, DMK president and one of India's most senior politicians, turned 90 Monday.

Karunanidhi began the day by cutting a birthday cake at his residence in Gopalapuram area here with close aides and family members cheering him on. He also planted a tree at his other residence in CIT Colony here.

As is his usual practice on birthdays, Karunanidhi paid tributes at the memorials of DMK founder and fomer chief minister C.N. Annadurai and E.V.K. Periyar, who founded the Dravida Kazhagam from which the DMK emerged.

Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah sent his birthday greetings and a flower bouquet to Karunanidhi while Congress president Sonia Gandhi wished the birthday boy over phone from New Delhi.

Turning high-tech, the DMK also enabled greetings through the mobile or through a website.

Firecrackers went off at the party office and sweets were distributed at the party office, which Karunanidhi visited.

Poles with DMK flags were fixed along several roads here and welfare measures for poor like mass feeding were also held. Besides, blood donation camps were held by party loyalists.

Karunanidhi entered politics as a student activist at the age of 14. He is also a well known playwright and screenwriter in Tamil cinema and has authored dozens of books and plays.

He took charge of the DMK after Annadurai's death in 1969.

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