AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa passes away

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Jayalalithaa

J Jayalalithaa passed away at 11.30 PM on Monday night.

AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa passed away on Monday night,a day after suffering cardiac arrest. She breathed her last on 11.30 PM.

The 68-years-old politician who was under the watch of experts, including cardiologists, breathed her last at Apollo hospital in Chennai. Jayalalithaa was on Monday morning put on extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a heart assist device.

Jayalalithaa

After the Apollo Hospital declared the death of J Jayalalithaa at 11.30 pm on Monday, the Tamil Nadu government declared a seven-day mourning in the state. People from all walks of life paid their tributes to Amma and mourned the loss of the people’s Chief Minister.

Jayalalithaa, who scored a historic win in the assembly elections in the state little over six months ago, was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22 with fever and dehydration but she could never recover.The ailing Chief Minister had shown signs of improvement during the last few days before the setback on Sunday.

Only hours earlier in the evening, the hospital had denied reports that Jayalalithaa had died as “baseless and false” when TV channels said she was no more.

“It is with indescribable grief, we announce the sad demise of our esteemed Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma at 11.30 PM today,” Apollo Hospitals said in a statement.

“Our honorable Chief Minister Selvi J Jayalalithaa was admitted on 22.9.2016 with complaints of fever and dehydration and underlying co-morbidities. The honorable Chief Minister responded well to the multi-disciplinary care in the Critical Care Unit and subsequently recovered substantially to being able to take food orally. “On this basis, honorable Chief Minister was shifted from the Advanced Critical Care Unit to the High Dependency Unit, where her health and vitals continued to improve under the close monitoring by our expert panel of specialists.” Unfortunately, the hospital release said, the Chief Minister suffered a massive cardiac arrest on the evening of December 4 even while the intensivist was in her room. The Chief Minister was immediately administered rescusitation (CPR) and provided ECMO support within the hour.

ECMO is the most advanced treatment currently available internationally. Every possible clinical attempt was made to sustain her revival. However, despite our best efforts, the Chief Minister’s underlying conditions rendered her unable to recover and she passed away at 11:30 pm on Monday, the release said.

Security has been beefed up across the state with the Tamil Nadu. Heavy deployment of police has been made at the hospital on Greams Road where thousands of supporters of ‘Amma’ (mother), as she is fondly called by her supporters, and AIADMK cadre have gathered on hearing the news.

A five-time Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa pioneered a string of social sector schemes like ‘cradle to baby scheme’ aimed at fighting the curse of female foeticide, free gold coins for those who begot girl child. She also opened a series of public welfare schemes under brand Amma, as she was popularly called, like ‘Amma canteens’ to low-priced food to the urban poor. There were similar schemes for the poor like ‘Amma salt’ ‘Amma water’ and ‘Amma medicines’.

Jayalalithaa

Jayalalithaa also attracted investment, especially from abroad, in sectors like automobile and IT. A host of leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a number of film personalities expressed grief over her death. Modi, who shared good political equation with Jayalalithaa said he was deeply saddened at her passing away which 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,” he said.

Jayalalithaa

A tinsel heroine, who inherited the legacy of her mentor late MGR, had entered politics in the early 1980s as the propaganda secretary of AIADMK and was made the in-charge of the noon meal scheme undertaken by the MGR government. Born in a Brahmin family, Jayalalithaa emerged as a feisty leader in a state where forces of social justice had thrown up an anti-Brahmin political movement even before independence. She practiced politics on her own terms and was one of the two poles in the state for nearly 30 years fighting the DMK headed by redoubtable M Karunanidhi.

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