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'Shocked' by Karuna's illness, 21 cadres die, says DMK

By PTI
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    Chennai, Aug 1: The DMK on Wednesday said 21 of its party workers have died unable to bear the "shock" of the illness and hospitalisation of party chief M Karunanidhi.

    File photo of Karunanidhi

    The party also appealed to the cadres not to take any extreme step in view of the 94-year-old former chief minister's health.

    "I am deeply depressed to learn that 21 party workers have died unable to bear the shock of party president Kalaignar's illness (and hospitalisation)," DMK Working President M K Stalin said.

    As Karunanidhi continues to be under intensive care for the fifth consecutive day today at the Kauvery Hospital here, the party top leader said he was grieved by such deaths and conveyed his condolences to the next of the kin of the affected families.

    The identity of the deceased has, however, not been disclosed by him.

    Quoting a statement from the hospital, Stalin said health condition of the party patriarch was "normalising," and a team of doctors was constantly monitoring him.

    "It is a good news and giving us confidence," he said, adding that the emotional cries (Thalaiva Va / 'Leader Come') of cadres urging their leader to make a come back did not go in vain.

    Stalin, who is also Karunanidhi's son and his successor in the DMK, asked cadres to realise that he cannot bear the loss of even a single party worker's life.

    The principle of "duty, dignity and discipline should be followed making Anna (party founder) and Kalaignar proud," he said. "No one should take any extreme step that may result in loss of their lives."

    Meanwhile, Tamil actor Vijay visited the hospital and enquired about the health of the ailing leader.

    "Although there has been resolution of the condition which led to his hospital admission, an extended period of hospitalisation will be necessary due to age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters," hospital's Executive Director Dr Aravindan Selvaraj had said in a press release yesterday.

    Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital on July 28 following a dip in his blood pressure.

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