On a half-day trip to Chennai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called on DMK President M Karunanidhi and enquired about his health.
"Vanakkam, Sir", Modi greeted Karunanidhi as he sat near the 93-year-old veteran and held his hand.
Accompanied by Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Pon Radhakrishnan, Modi was with the DMK leader for about 10 minutes before winding up his visit to the city during which he took part in the 75th-anniversary celebrations of Tamil newspaper Dina Thanthi.
Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin, who was on a visit to Sharjah, cut short the trip and returned to receive Modi at Karunanidhi's residence. Kanimozhi, Karunanidhi's daughter, and Rajathi, Karunanidhi's second wife, and DMK General Secretary Durai Murugan were also present.
The Prime Minister was briefed about Karunanidhi's health by his doctor. This is the first time Modi has met Karunanidhi at his residence.
Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundarajan told reporters that Modi invited Karunanidhi to his home in Delhi for taking rest. Karunanidhi reciprocated with a smile, she said.
DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said it was a courtesy call, coming at a time when Karunanidhi was making considerable improvement in his health.
Karunanidhi has been off active politics for about a year now since age-related ailments have kept him home-bound.
Modi's visit comes at a time when Stalin has been attacking the central government.
Stalin has been charging the Centre with running a proxy government in Tamil Nadu. He has also said that the BJP government led by Modi had not fulfilled the promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
After meeting Modi, Karunanidhi, seated in a wheelchair, appeared near the door and waved to DMK cadres assembled outside his house.