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Who is Karunanidhi, the chief of the DMK

By Vicky
|

Muthuvel Karunanidhi is the chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a major Dravidian political party in the state of Tamil Nadu. He has served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on separate ocassions.

Muthuvel Karunanidhi

He is currently representing Tiruvarur constituency in Tamil Nadu legislative assembly. He has been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 12 times and once to the erstwhile Tamil Nadu Legislative Council.

Karunanidhi has led the DMA since the demise of its founder, C N Annadurai, in 1969. In a political career spanning more than six decades, Karunanidhi holds the record of winning a seat every time he has contested. The DMK chief has also worked as a playwright and screenwriter for Tamil cinema. He is known as 'Kalaignar' by his supporters.

Karunanidhi was inspired to join politics at a young age of 14 after hearing a speech by Alagiriswami of the Justice Party. His political career began with participation in Anti-Hindi agitations. He started an organisation of the local youth in his locality and circulated a handwritten newspaper, 'Manavar Nesan', among its members.

He founded a student organisation called 'Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram'. It was the first student wing of the Dravidian Movement. Karunanidhi got involved in social work along with other members of his organisation. He started a newspaper which grew into 'Murasoli', the DMK party's official newspaper today.

He took part in the Kallakudi agitation in 1953 which saw his entry into politics.

Karunanidhi was first elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly in 1957 from Kulithalai seat of Tiruchirapalli district. He became the DMK treasurer in 1961 and deputy leader of opposition in the state assembly the following year.

When the DMK came to power in 1967, he became the minister for public works. After the death of Annadurai in 1969, Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi suffered multiple electoral defeats against his main opponent M G Ramachandran's ADMK until the latter's death in 1987. Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1996. After completing a full term, his party lost in the 2001 elections to J. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK.

Karunanidhi returned to power after he defeated Jayalalithaa in the 2006 elections. After completing a full term, he lost to the AIADMK in 2011.

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