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Anxious Tamil Nadu Prays for Karunanidhi as DMK Chief Continues to Fight Grim Battle for Life

DMK supporters clash with the police outside Kauvery Hospital on Sunday night. (PTI Photo)

DMK supporters clash with the police outside Kauvery Hospital on Sunday night. (PTI Photo)

According to the latest medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital, DMK chief Karunanidhi's condition has stabilised after dropping for a brief period. Tamil Nadu breathed a sigh of relief after the announcement.

Chennai: Triggering a scare across a very emotional Tamil Nadu, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi lapsed into a “transient setback” on Sunday night but was later back to being “stable” as delirious supporters breathed a sigh of relief and continued to raise slogans for Kalaignar’s long life.

The 94-year-old DMK president continued to wage a grim battle for life on Sunday night as he remains under observation for a urinary tract infection that has also caused fever.

"It is true that there was a transient setback. But it has been set right due to intensive medical care. Do not believe in rumours. He continues to be treated at the ICU," DMK leader and former Union Minister A Raja told reporters at the hospital premises.

A Raja’s announcement, who struggled to be heard over the supporters’ sloganeering, was greeted with loud cheers by the ardent admirers of Karunanidhi who had gathered in large numbers at the hospital.

Hundreds of policemen were deployed in and around the hospital in upscale Alwarpet. The police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd that refused to leave the Kauvery Hospital.

A steady stream of DMK supporters visited the hospital since morning, but the crowd began swelling since 7:30 pm as news spread about the deterioration in his condition.

"There was a transient setback in the clinical condition of DMK president M Karunanidhi. With active medical support his vital signs are normalising. He continues to be closely monitored and treated by the panel of expert doctors," a medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital said at 9:50 pm.

Many party workers, especially women, were seen crying.

They heaved a sigh of relief after the medical bulletin said he was breathing normally and his vital parameters had stabilised.

Karunanidhi was hospitalised in the wee hours of Saturday after his blood pressure dropped.

He had undergone a procedure at the Kauvery Hospital for replacement of a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe normally.

Earlier on Sunday, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu called on Karunanidhi at the hospital after which DMK released the first visuals of the ailing leader lying on the hospital bed. Several political bigwigs have paid visits to the DMK chief over the past few days ad his health triggered concerns across political lines in the country.