Chennai, Jun 3: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi turned 85 today. A host of leaders, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and state Governor S S Barnala extended their greetings to the Dravidian patriarch.
The Prime Minister, Ms Gandhi and other national leaders telephoned Mr Karunanidhi and conveyed their greetings. The octogenarian began the day with a visit to the memorial of his mentor and late Chief Minister C N Annadurai on the Marina at 0700 hrs and later, the memorial of rationalist leader Periyar E V Ramasamy and offered floral tributes.
After accepting greetings at his Gopalapuram residence from family members, Ministerial colleagues and officials, the DMK leader came to party headquarters, ''Anna Arivalayam,'' where thousands of partymen lined up to wish him.
Mr Karunanidhi had initially said 'no' to birthday celebrations as he was upset over the delay in the implementation of Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) and rise of terrorism in the country.
However, after an appeal by his senior colleague and party General Secretary K Anbazhagan, he relented and agreed for the celebrations.