The streets sport coloured lights and large cut-outs of the leader of the party, as he rolls his wheelchair to the stage, dressed in white , a yellow scarf over his shoulders and dark glasses hide an old botched eye surgery. He is accompanied by his third wife Rajathi Ammal, and grandnephew Dayanidhi Maran, who he often calls his grandson.
He is greeted with loud music and cheers by the adoring community..
Karunanidhi was born in 1924 and later made his name as a screenwriter in Tamil films. He is a founder of the DMK when it was formed in 1040. He contested 12 assembly elections and won all. He has been Tamil Nadu chief minister five times, and has also written film scripts, stories, plays and poems.
Party leaders and members bow and touch his feet seeking his blessings. His popularity is rooted in his longevity and one supporter said he gave Rs.20,000 for her daughter’s wedding, and she will vote for him until her death.
He told the media that if he wins this election he will be chief minister for the sixth time. One report said ‘As long as he’s alive, you can’t imagine an election without him, it doesn’t matter whether he’s 99 or 109.