Former Tamil Nadu chief minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J Jayalalithaa was on Tuesday laid to rest with full state honours on Marina Beach in Chennai, quite near the last resting place of her mentor and another former TN chief minister, MG Ramachandran.
She breathed her last at 11:30 pm on Monday following a heart attack on Sunday evening, even as she was undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai since September 22 when she had been admitted after complaining of fever and dehydration. The heart attack had left her in a critical state.
Following her death, her mortal remains were taken to her official residence at Poes Garden, even as her loyalist O Panneeerselvam was sworn in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Another 31 AIADMK MLAs were sworn in as ministers. The question now remains is who will succeed Jayalalithaa as leader of the AIADMK. Speculations are rife that her close aide Sasikala will get to don that mantle.
As Tuesday dawned, Jayalalithaa's body was taken to Rajaji Hall to enable people to pay their last respects. Many political leaders, film stars and other dignitaries from across the country paid tributes to her there. These included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Jayalalithaa's body was then taken to Marina Beach for burial with full state honours. This means an Army band played at the funeral, and she was accorded the customary 21-gun salute. Subsequently, Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala Natarajan, with her son, performed her last rites, conducted by an Iyengar priest, before her coffin was sealed and lowered into the pit dug for her burial.