Describing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who died of cardiac arrest at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai late last evening, as a towering figure in the national and political life, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said the Congress Party, her family and she personally share the grief and pain of the people of the state and her devoted supporters in the AIADMK, who have lost their beloved ‘Amma’.
“She was a towering figure in our national and political life, who won admiration across the political spectrum for the intrepid spirit with which she faced the ups and downs of her life in politics, for her commitment to the people of her state, and her dedication to the honour of India. I am deeply grieved to learn of the passing away of Selvi J Jayalalithaa,” said Gandhi in a statement issued here.
She further said, “Selvi Jayalalithaa lived her entire life with the same indomitable courage with which she battled her last illness. As the leader of the AIADMK and as five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, she had a unique and deep empathy with the needs and hopes of the people, and put in place policies that immeasurably improved their lives.”
“Whether it was her welfare schemes for the rural and urban poor, her swift relief measures in the aftermath of the Tsunami or her vision for Tamil Nadu’s industrial development, her leadership qualities and administrative abilities were truly outstanding,” she added. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s official Twitter handle ‘OfficeOfRG’ tweeted, “We lost a great leader today.Women,farmers,fishermen &the marginalised dreamt through her eyes. We will miss Jayalalithaa ji, Amma to millions.”
Stating that the entire nation is shocked and deeply saddened by the demise of Jayalalithaa, the Congress Party described her as a leader that ordinary people could reach out to and a leader who worked tirelessly for the people of the state till the very end.
“The entire nation is shocked and deeply saddened by her demise. She will always be remembered not only as Amma, but a leader that ordinary people could reach out to; a leader who changed and healed by the touch and affection she displayed and a leader who worked tirelessly for the people of Tamil Nadu till the very end,” Congress media in charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told ANI. Announcing her demise at 12.13 a.m., Apollo Hospitals in a statement said, “The Chief Minister suffered a massive cardiac arrest on the evening of the December 4, even while our intensivist was in her room.
She was immediately administered resuscitation (CPR), and provided ECMO support within the hour, which 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 Ministerm’st underlying conditions rendered her unable to recover and she passed away at 11.30 p.m. today.”
Her body will be kept at Rajaji Hall for people to pay last respects. Meanwhile, a seven-day state mourning has been declared from today morning to mourn the death of five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. A three-day holiday has also been announced for educational institutions in the state. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohmmed Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condoled the demise of Jayalalithaa.