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Lakhs of people pay homage to Jayalalithaa

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Politicians and friends surround the body of India's Tamil Nadu state former Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa wrapped in the national flag and kept for public viewing outside an auditorium in Chennai, India, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Jayalalithaa, the hugely popular south Indian actress who later turned to politics and became the highest elected official in the state of Tamil Nadu, died Monday. She was 68. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Chennai, 6 Dec 2016 : Lakhs of common people, political leaders and movie stars have been paying their last respects to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa on Tuesday who died on Monday night following a cardiac arrest.

The 68-year-old charismatic leader, who was in Apollo Hospitals since September 22, died here at 11.30 p.m. on Monday.

Jayalalithaa’s body was taken to her residence at Poes Garden on Tuesday.

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After performance of the last ceremonial rites as per tradition, her tricolour draped body was shifted to Rajaji Hall here for people to pay their last respects to the departed leader.

Jayalalithaa’s close confidant Sasikala Natarajan was standing near her body.

AIADMK MLAs and MPs as well as other party officials were at Rajaji Hall.

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Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, state Congress party President S. Thirunavukarasar, movie star Prabhu, Bharatiya Janata Party leader H. Raja and others paid homage to Jayalalithaa.

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“Jayalalithaa is very bold, intelligent and shrewd — three important qualities for a politician. It was she who campaigned throughout the state during the 1984 assembly elections when MGR (AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran) was hospitalised. She was instrumental for the party’s victory in that elections,” Thirunavukarasar told.

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“She was charismatic and able to attract and convince people and secure votes. People saw her as MGR’s political heir. She was an able administrator and knew what is what. Her strength was her boldness,” he said.

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