Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, a popular leader who showered the poor with populist programmes and a pole in State politics for three decades, died last night at a private hospital after battling for life for the past 75 days.
A statement from Apollo Hospital, where she was receiving treatment stated:
"Our honourable Chief Minister Selvi J Jayalalithaa was admitted on 22.9.2016 with complaints of fever and dehydration and underlying co-morbidities. The honourable Chief Minister responded well to the multi-disciplinary care in the Critical Care Unit and subsequently recovered substantially to being able to take food orally. On this basis, honourable Chief Minister was shifted from the Advanced Critical Care Unit to the High Dependency Unit, where her health and vitals continued to improve under the close monitoring by our expert panel of specialists."
Unfortunately, the hospital release said, the Chief Minister suffered a massive cardiac arrest on the evening of December 4 even while the intensivist was in her room. The Chief Minister was immediately administered rescusitation (CPR) and provided ECMO support within the hour.
ECMO 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 Minister's underlying conditions rendered her unable to recover and she passed away at 11:30 pm on Monday, the release said.
A six-time Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa pioneered a string of social sector schemes like 'cradle to baby scheme' aimed at fighting the curse of female foeticide, free gold coins for those who begot girl child.
She also opened a series of public welfare schemes under brand Amma, as she was popularly called, like 'Amma canteens' to low-priced food to the urban poor. There were similar schemes for the poor like 'Amma salt' 'Amma water' and 'Amma medicines'. Jayalalithaa also attracted investment, especially from abroad, in sectors like automobile and IT.
Also read : Jayalalithaa’s journey from Ammu to Amma
A host of leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a number of film personalities expressed grief over her death.
Modi, who shared good political equation with Jayalalithaa, said he was deeply saddened at her passing away, which has left a "huge void" in Indian politics.
I will always cherish the innumerable occasions when I had the opportunity to interact with Jayalalithaa Ji. May her soul rest in peace, he said.
The mortal remains of Jayalalithaa kept in state at Rajaji Hall in Chennai to enable public pay their homage.