Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa passed away at 11.30 p.m. on Monday at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. She was 68. The mortal remains of Ms. Jayalalithaa have been taken to her residence, Veda Nilayam, at Poes Garden, and after completion of rituals, will be taken to Rajaji Hall in Chennai on Tuesday for public homage. The cremation of the AIADMK leader is expected to take place on Tuesday next to the MGR samadhi, the memorial of her political mentor M.G. Ramachandran.
The government has announced a mourning period of 7 days and three-day holiday for schools and colleges.
Ms. Jayalalithaa’s health took a turn for the worse when she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, where she had been undergoing treatment since September 22 for dehydration and fever. She has been on extracorporeal life support since then.
Early on Monday evening, a few television channels erroneously reported that the Chief Minister had died, triggering emotional responses among AIADMK cadres assembled at the Apollo hospital premises and at party offices across Tamil Nadu. The hospital then released a bulletin that she was continuing to receive life support treatment.
The Chief Minister was hospitalised on September 22. A few days later the hospital consulted Dr. Richard Beale, a specialist from the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, London. It was then revealed that the treatment regimen included continued respiratory support, nebulisation, medicine to decongest the lungs, antibiotics, nutrition, general nursing care and supportive therapy.”
Her health appeared to improve over the coming weeks, and after more than 50 days in the hospital, Ms. Jayalalithaa, in a signed letter, said that she has taken a “rebirth” and that she was waiting to get back soon to routine official work.
Ms. Jayalalithaa was a reluctant entrant into films as well as politics but she succeeded in both; her film career began in 1965 with her first film 'Vennira Aadai'. Ms. Jayalalithaa was Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister for 6 terms and has been in politics since 1982 when she joined the AIADMK and made her first speech on "Pennin Perumai" (The Greatness of a Woman).