Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2016-12-05 17:44 Chennai: J Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, died in Apollo Hospital here on Monday night, a day after she suffered a cardiac arrest. 68-year-old Jayalalithaa passed away 74 days after she was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. In a statement issued here, Apollo Hospitals said: "It is with indescribable grief, we announce the sad demise of our esteemed Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Puratchi Thalaivi Amma at 11.30 p.m. today." It is learnt Jayalalithaa's body will be taken to her residence at Poes Garden first. Police were deployed in large numbers outside Apollo Hospitals and also at Poes Garden. Her death plunged Tamil Nadu into grief unprecedented since the death of her mentor M G Ramachandran in 1987. She also left a political uncertainty in the country’s sixth most populous state. Although O Paneerselvam, who is discharging the chief minister’s functions since she took ill two and a half months ago, is likely to be sworn in as chief minister in the interim, AIADMK, the party she nurtured and led to power just a year ago, is likely to be convulsed by a power struggle. Jayalalithaa Jayaraman (born 24 February 1948) at Melkote in Karnataka, has been in office since 2015. Previously she served as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996, in 2001, from 2002 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2014. She was an actress before her entry into politics and appeared in 140 films which includes Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada films. As a leading actress in films from 1961 to 1980, she was considered as one of the most prolific and most versatile actress having appeared in films of different genres and for performing wide variety of characters. She was also known for her dancing skills. She is referred to as the queen of Tamil cinema. Jayalalithaa, who was inducted into politics by actor-turned politician M G Ramachandran, with whom she co-starred in many films, was the general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). She was popularly referred to as Puratchi Thalaivi, Thanga Gopuram, Thanga Chillai and Thanga Tharagai (Golden Maiden) by her followers. In 2001, an additional letter "a" was appended to the spelling of her name for reasons related to numerology. She was a member of the Rajya Sabha, elected from Tamil Nadu, from 1984 to 1989. Soon after the death of MGR, Jayalalitha proclaimed herself his political heir. She was the second female chief minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran. Jayalalithaa became the first incumbent chief minister in India to be disqualified from holding office due to conviction in a disproportionate assets case on 27 September 2014. On 11 May 2015, the Karnataka High Court acquitted Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case, and she resumed office as Chief Minister on 23 May. She was subsequently re-elected by the electorate of the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency of North Chennai in a by-election held on 27 June 2015. She was re-elected as Chief Minister on 19 May 2016 and took the oath as Chief Minister for the sixth time on 23 May 2016. Nation mourns: As the nation mourned her death, the Tamil Nadu government declared seven days of mourning. Schools and colleges in the state will be closed for three days. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo hospital on September 22 with fever and dehydration. She suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening, and her condition became critical. President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to Jayalalithaa. "One of India's most charismatic and popular leaders, Jayalalithaa was a visionary and able administrator," Mukherjee said. Modi added: "Deeply saddened at the passing away of Jayalalithaa. Her demise has left a huge void in Indian politics." Defining Jayalalithaa as a mass leader, Modi said in another tweet: "Jayalalithaaji's connect with citizens, concern for welfare of the poor, the women and marginalized will always be a source of inspiration." West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: "Popular, strong, bold, efficient, people- friendly, charismatic leader, Amma. Always at the heart of people. Big loss. I am shocked, saddened." Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar described her passing away as "very saddening". He announced a day's state mourning in his state. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Very sad to hear the demise of Amma. A very very popular leader. Aam Aadmi's leader. May her soul rest in peace."