Jayalalithaa's death: Condolence messages pour in

Jayalalithaa's death: Condolence messages pour in

"The party is in her hands for some time now". "Her unexpected death", New America International Security Program fellow Ronak D. Desai told Foreign Policy, "leaves an vast power vacuum in the region and will totally reorder the political landscape in that part of the country". Jayalalita will be buried next to her mentor MG Ramachandran.

Jayalalithaa passed away at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai at 11.30 pm on Monday night after being admitted there on September 22.

After attempts to revive her failed, she was put on life support, but her condition continued to slide.

Last rites were performed by the politician's long-time companion N. Sasikala, who also received the national flag that had draped Jayalalithaa's body.

Security has been beefed up at the venue where people lined up to bid a tearful adieu to their "Amma" (mother) as Jayalithaa was fondly called. Thousands of people walked from Rajaji Hall, where her body was kept, to her funeral at MGR Memorial off Chennai's Marina Beach in the evening.

Political commentators and the Sri Lankan media have, for long, been closely following Ms. Jayalalithaa's political moves.

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Earlier, a situation arose where the police were left with no choice and had to use batons to control the crowd.

President Pranab Mukherjee, whose arrival in Chennai was delayed by a technical snag in his plane, too paid tribute to Jayalalithaa. Then, he took another flight.

"Felt very sad about the demise of Madam Selvi Jayalalitha, had hopes till last movement, doctors made every possible attempt", Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said. As soon as the House was assembled for the day's proceeding, Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade proposed a condolence for Jayalalithaa, the leaders of all political parties consented and paid rich tributes to the departedsoul. She believed it was lucky for her.

Jayalalithaa's demise is seen as a personal loss for the 59-year-old Sasikala who was probably one of the few occupants of the Chief Minister's Veda Nilayam residence at Poes Garden beside assistants and officials. She quit two times due to corruption allegations. The kind of power Jayalalithaa wielded in her party was unprecedented.

Many fellow Chief Ministers praised Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa considered herself - and was deemed by her supporters - to be a loner, a perception that only added to her emotional appeal.