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Leaders, supporters pay last respects to their ‘Thalaivar’

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, senior state ministers, AMMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, superstar Rajinikanth and his family, and actor Sivakarthikeyan amng others paid homage to Karunanidhi.

Speaking to reporters, Palaniswami said Karunanidhi's demise was a "big loss to Tamil Nadu". He extended his sympathies to DMK working president and Leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, Karunanidhi's family, and the DMK workers.

Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had a brief conversation with Stalin during which they apparently extended their sympathies to him over the loss. Karunanidhi's body was earlier brought to the stately Rajaji Hall from his CIT Nagar residence for the public to pay homage to the former chief minister.

The Indian tricolour was draped over the body of Karunanidhi. His relatives, including children Stalin, MK Selvam and Kanimozhi, were seen standing beside the mortal remains of the Dravidian stalwart.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others are scheduled to pay homage later in the day to the leader, fondly addressed as Kalaignar (artiste).

Grim-faced party leaders and MLAs were seen seated along the stairs of Rajaji Hall. Supporters and mourners started pouring in at Rajaji Hall, with some of them raising slogans hailing their 'thalaivar' (leader).

The 94-year-old leader breathed his last at the Kauvery Hospital in downtown Chennai at 6.10 pm Tuesday after waging a grim battle for life for 11 days.

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