Jayaram Jayalalithaa dead: Indian actress-turned-politician was 68

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew down to Chennai to pay his last respects to the departed soul.

He joined mourners Tuesday in the city of Chennai where Jayalalithaa's body lay in a public hall draped in the Indian flag.

Tributes began to pour in for Jayalalitha as soon as her death was confirmed by Apollo, which had been treating her since 22 September.

Extra police have been deployed in the state amid fears of unrest due to the extreme devotion she inspires among her supporters, many of whom refer to her as "Amma" (mother).

External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is in hospital being treated for kidney failure, also condoled Ms Jayalalithaa's death.

But nothing could dent her popularity in Tamil Nadu, where she was elected as chief minister on four occasions in a period in which it became one of India's most prosperous states.

Tens of thousands followed the coffin as it was brought through the streets of the Tamil Nadu capital for burial at a beachside memorial to the late MG Ramachandran, another former cinema star who brought her into politics.

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Dr Balakrishnan also sent his condolences to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam.

As per information, Hema Malini is a Tamilian Brahmin by birth, however she had spent most times of her life in north and west India. She wanted the Tamil people of Sri Lanka's North and East to be able to govern themselves.

Her trusted cabinet aide, O Panneerselvam, was sworn-in as the chief minister of the state after midnight. "Her Excellency Jayalalithaa left an indelible mark in Tamil Nadu and will be missed". MGR was her mentor.

She was charged with corruption and imprisoned in 1996, and again in 2014 - and was back in power one year later.

Chief Ministers from Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and others too paid their last respects.

Her AIADMK party quickly named a loyalist to succeed her as chief minister and keep unity in the regional movement built entirely around the cult of Jayalalithaa. Her brother died in the early 1990s. "Her unexpected death", New America International Security Program fellow Ronak D. Desai told Foreign Policy, "leaves an enormous power vacuum in the region and will totally reorder the political landscape in that part of the country".

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