PM Pays Tribute To J Jayalalithha In Chennai

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pm-tribute-jayalalithaa

CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Chennai  and  he pays tribue J Jayalalithaa, one of India’s most popular politicians, will be buried this evening at Chennai’s Marina Beach, next to the memorial of her mentor, MG Ramachandran. Ms Jayalalithaa, 68, died at 11.30 pm, unable to recover from a huge cardiac arrest that forced her onto life support systems on Sunday evening. Lakhs of people are visiting Rajaji Hall, a public auditorium, where her body is kept in a casket draped in the national flag. Jayalalithaa was known as “Amma” or mother. Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Chennai a short while ago and flew to Rajaji Hall in a chopper. Security was tested as the massive crowds surged forward to get a glimpse of the Prime Minister as he paid his respects to Ms Jayalalithaa. Earlier, the police had to use lathis or batons to control thousands of people who attempted to break down barricades in order to reach the body of their beloved Amma or mother, as she was fondly called.     President Pranab Mukherjee’s plane to Chennai returned to Delhi with a technical problem and he has taken another flight. Eight chief ministers, including Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra, and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will attend the funeral.   Sasikala Natarajan, Ms Jayalalithaa’s long-time companion, remained near the politician’s body today. She was seen adjusting the green sari that Ms Jayalalithaa was dressed in. Green was the leader’s favourite colour, she felt it was lucky for her. Ms Jayalalithaa served four times as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Twice, she had to quit office because of corruption allegations. In each case, loyalist O Panneerselvam stood in for her. He took oath as Chief Minister last night for a third term. Ms Jayalalithaa died at Apollo Hospital, where she was admitted on September 22 with complaints of fever and dehydration. Her condition soon worsened and she was treated for a serious lung ailment. For many weeks, she was on support systems in the Intensive Care section. Weeping women and men were seen hitting their heads and beating their chests,wailing “Amma, Amma” in grief. In huge relief for the administration, there has been no violence since the news of Ms Jayalalithaa’s death. For lakhs whose devotion to her bordered on the religious, self-harming shows of loyalty were not uncommon. When she was arrested on corruption charges in 2014, her party said 200 people committed suicide in anger and sorrow. Public buses were set on fire. From within jail, the politician asked – as urged by the Supreme Court – for calm to be maintained. Ms Jayalalithaa was revered especially by the rural poor for the vast amount of giveaways she provided – mixer-grinders, laptops – ahead of elections. In recent years, her government introduced the Amma brand of massively subsidised water, canteens and medicines which endeared her further to the poor, while stressing the state’s finances. Earlier this year, Ms Jayalalithaa beat a nearly three-decade-long tradition to be re-elected as Chief Minister. Before that, Tamil Nadu alternated between choosing Ms Jayalalithaa and political adversary, the DMK.