After many tense hours following initial reports that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalithaa had passed away, Apoll Hospital confirmed that the AIADMK supremo had breathed her last at 11.30 pm. Earlier, the hospital denied media reports that Jayalalithaa passed away on Monday evening, saying that doctors from both AIIMS and Apollo continue provide her with “life-saving measures”. Dismissing the reports as “totally baseless and false”, Apollo asked news channels to rectify their “mistake”. Confusion gripped Tamil Nadu as news of Jayalalithaa’s “death” was flashed by Tamil news channels and picked up by the national media.
Soon, a scuffle broke out between AIADMK supporters and police with the former throwing stones and upturning barricades outside Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. Police, deployed in large numbers to preempt any untoward incident, were forced to resort to lathicharge. Even the party flag was seen flying at half mast at the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah after the reports of her death, but it was hoisted once again after the hospital issued a denial. The chief minister, who has been in Apollo since September 22, had suffered the cardiac arrest on Sunday evening.
The party MLAs are scheduled to meet later this evening, apparently to chalk out the next course of action. Though party sources did not reveal the agenda of the meeting scheduled in the evening, they, however, confirmed that the legislators would discuss key matters.
The AIADMK chief suffered the cardiac arrest hours after her party told media that she has fully recovered and will be returning home soon. Born in 1948, Jayalalithaa started her career as an actress in South Indian films. In 1982, she joined the AIADMK, which was founded by her mentor MG Ramachandran. She first became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 1991. She has ruled the state for over 15 years.