Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, gave up the fight after surviving almost 75 days on December 5 night.
Jayalalithaa’s mortal remains were first taken to her residence, Poes Garden and later taken to Rajaji Hall for public homage after being draped in the national flag. Her last rites will be performed on December 6 at 4:30 pm, her remains will be laid to rest next to her political mentor MGR Memorial on Marina Beach.
All India Anna Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam MLAs met at the party headquarters to elect finance minister O Panneerselvam as Jayalalithaa’s successor. He was sworn in as Tamil Nadu’s new Chief Minister at the state Raj Bhavan. He will lead AIADMK in the state assembly.
The Centre has declared a day’s national mourning as a mark of respect for the departed leader and directed that the Tricolur fly at half mast on all government and private buildings. While a seven-day mourning has begun in Tamil Nadu—schools and colleges across the state will be closed for three days—Kerala has also declared a three-day mourning. Cutting across political lines, all parties, including the DMK, have lowered their party flags.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and others will be reaching Chennai soon to pay their tributes to Jayalalithaa, who remained a Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) till the end.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Union Ministers, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, arch rival K Karunanidhi and other leaders offered tributes to Jayalalithaa.
“Deeply saddened at the passing away of Jayalalithaa; her demise has left a huge void in Indian politics. I will always cherish the innumerable occasions when I had the opportunity to interact with Jayalalithaa ji. May her soul rest in peace,” tweeted Modi.
President Pranab Mukherjee, in his message, said, “Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Jayalalithaa. She was a visionary and able administrator. Her life was dedicated to the socio-economic transformation of Tamil Nadu and its people. In her passing away, the nation has lost an icon who was loved and admired by millions.”
A popular actor Jayalalithaa gained political expertise having been mentored by MGR. After her mentor’s death, she became a six-time Chief Minister of the state.