Chennai, Aug 08: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday flew into Chennai to pay his last respects to late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at Rajaji Hall where the mortal remains were kept for public homage.
Modi, who landed at 10.30 a.m., took a helicopter from the airport to INS Vikrant, incidentally close to the Anna Memorial, and from there went by road to Rajaji Hall where mile-long queue of grief-striken partymen waited patiently to have a glimpse of their leader.
Modi, accompanied by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, laid a wreath on the glass casket where the body of Karunanidhi, draped in national colour was kept.
Former Union Minister T R Baalu and DMK’s Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi received him.
Modi then stayed for a while and offered his condolence to DMK working president M K Stalin, Kanimozhi, her mother Rajathi, Karunanidhi’s eldest brother Azhagiri and other close relatives.
In a tweet, he said:” , I paid tributes to an extraordinary leader and a veteran administrator whose life was devoted to public welfare and social justice. Kalaignar Karunanidhi will live on in the hearts and minds of the millions of people whose lives were transformed by him”.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, landed in Chennai at 12.30 pm and paid homage to Karunanidhi and offered condolence to Stalin and other close relatives.
Among other visitors to Rajaji Hall was Kerala Chief Miniser Pinayari Vijayan. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who reached Chennai on Tuesday evening, paid her last respects at the Gopalapuram residence of Karunanidhi. In a tweet, Mamata said she was unhappy over the passing of the senior most Dravidian leader.
Film star Rajanikanth, who also visited the Gopalapuram home of Karunandihi, could not get past huge crowd. He went to Rajaji Hall in the morning and paid his homage.