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J Jayalalithaa Is No More; Cardiac Arrest Proves Fatal For 68-Year-Old Tamil Nadu CM

Updated on 8 December, 2016 at 12:59 pm By

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa breathed her last at Apollo Hospital on December 5 at 11:30 PM. Doctors at the hospital were battling to save her life after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening.

 

Dr Richard Beale, the specialist doctor from London, who was treating Jayalalithaa had earlier said, “The situation is extremely grave.” His words on her health condition had indicated that the chances of survival for the AIADMK chief was bleak.

Besides Dr Beale, four top doctors from AIIMS were busy treating her. Union Health Minister JP Nadda was himself taking regular updates from Apollo.

 


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The 68-year-old Chief Minister was on life support. She was being treated with Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), which means that she was being assisted in breathing and in heart functions.

Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo hospital on September 22 for acute dehydration and infection. She was declared fit on December 4, a day before she suffered a cardiac arrest.

 



Jayalalithaa was born on February 24, 1948 in Melukote in Karnataka. A highly successful film star in Tamil films, she was introduced to the world of politics by her mentor M.G. Ramachandran.

 

Fondly called Amma (mother) by her supporters, Jayalalithaa started her political career in on June 24, 1991 as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu defeating M Karunanidhi of DMK, who remained her main political rival till her death.

Between 1991 and 2016, she was elected Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for a record four terms. (Though she took oath six times due to corruption cases interrupting her tenure twice.) She was elected as the 19th CM of Tamil Nadu on May 23, 2016.

The most powerful woman in South India, Jayalalithaa commanded a respect from her party workers as well as rivals, including Karunanidhi. When initial rumours of her death started doing the rounds, Karunanidhi’s daughter K Kanimozhi tweeted quashing those:

 

When news of her cardiac arrest spread, her supporters thronged in large numbers to the hospital. A heavy deployment of the police was done to prevent any tension. Prayers were held across the state for Jayalalithaa’s speedy recovery. Women, in particular, were seen crying even as Apollo maintained that she was on life support.


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The demise of the AIADMK chief leaves a huge void in both the party and the state’s leadership. For now state finance minister O Panneerselvam, who is widely known as the most trusted aide of Jayalalithaa’s, will be the acting chief minister.

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