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‘Bold, efficient, a visionary’: Leaders pay tribute to Jayalalithaa

Tamil Nadu’s chief minister and one of the country’s most popular political leaders, J. Jayalalithaa, died after a prolonged illness, hospital authorities announced late Monday night.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2016 10:31 IST
Agencies
Agencies
This file photo taken on May 19, 2016 shows All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(AIADMK) leader Jayalalithaa Jayaram coming out of her residence to address media in Chennai. Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the chief minister of south India's Tamil Nadu state and one of the country's most popular political leaders, died after a prolonged illness.
This file photo taken on May 19, 2016 shows All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(AIADMK) leader Jayalalithaa Jayaram coming out of her residence to address media in Chennai. Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the chief minister of south India's Tamil Nadu state and one of the country's most popular political leaders, died after a prolonged illness.(AFP)
         

Tamil Nadu’s chief minister and one of the country’s most popular political leaders, J. Jayalalithaa, died after a prolonged illness, hospital authorities announced late Monday night.

“It is with indescribable grief, we announce the sad demise of our esteemed honourable chief minister of Tamil Nadu ... at 11:30pm today (December 5),” Chennai’s Apollo Hospital said in a statement released to the media.

Doctors had been treating the 68-year-old former film star, who enjoys an almost god-like status in Tamil Nadu.

Hundreds of devotees have kept a round-the-clock vigil outside the private hospital in the state capital Chennai since she was first admitted in September suffering from a fever. Their numbers have swelled since her condition worsened on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences over her demise.

Her political party, AIADMK, on Twitter said:

Leaders cutting across party lines and from different states in the country tweeted their condolences.

Jayalalithaa had earned the loyalty of many voters in the state with a series of highly populist schemes, including “Amma canteens” that provided lunch for just three rupees (five cents).

She was also one of the country’s most polarising politicians, accused of being dictatorial and was even jailed for corruption.

Thousands of directors, actors and producers in the successful Tamil language film industry went on hunger strike to demand her release.

First Published: Dec 06, 2016 01:33 IST

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