BENGALURU: Karnataka government today declared a day of state mourning as a mark of respect to AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah describing her as one of the “tallest personalities” in Tamil Nadu politics whose demise had caused an “irreparable loss.”
Recollecting her joining AIADMK, where she served as propaganda secretary and Rajya Sabha member before becoming the Chief Minister, he said Ms Jayalalithaa became one of the tallest personalities not merely in the Tamil Cinema, but also in Tamil Nadu Politics. “Now, it’s all a history.”
“By acting in more than 140 films including Sri Shaila Mahathme, Chinnada Gombe, Amara Shilpi Jakanachari, Badukuva Daari, Mavana Magalu, Mane Aliya and Nanna Kartavya in Kannada and in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi movies, Ms Jayalalithaa carved a niche for herself in the hearts and minds of people,” Mr Siddaramaiah said in his condolence message.
Noting that Ms Jayalalithaa became the youngest Chief Minister of her state, he said, “During that time, the ‘cradle baby scheme’, which she implemented to counter female infanticide and save the girl child, was appreciated from all quarters.”
He said the novel concepts of all women police station, women libraries and all women bank was effectively implemented by Ms Jayalalithaa during her regime.
Pointing out Ms Jayalalithaa’s “toughness” in administration, “strict discipline” in party affairs, and pro-people popular schemes like Amma Canteen and Amma Water created “an ocean of admirers” for her, he said “all these have now created an environment in Tamil Nadu, which is not ready to accept that she is no more.”
“Though Jayalalithaa has left this world and entered into the pages of history, she will be remembered forever in Tamil Nadu. May her soul rest in peace. Let the almighty give strength to her huge family of millions of admirers, who are inside and outside Tamil Nadu, to bear the irreparable loss, at this hour of grief,” he added.
Mr Siddaramaiah will be visiting Chennai by a special flight to pay his last respects to the departed leader.
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, who is in New Delhi, has condoled the death and will be visiting Chennai to pay his last respects, party sources said.
Former Chief Minister and BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa said there are hardly any parallels to Ms Jayalalithaa’s life in India’s political history.