Jayalalithaa’s last rites to begin at 4:30 PM at MGR Memorial; PM Narendra Modi pays homage to Amma

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Chennai: Jayalalithaa, Amma to millions, passed away at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital at 11.30 PM on Monday after waging a grim battle for life since her hospitalisation on September 22. The mortal remains of Amma have been kept for the public to pay their last respects. Jayalalithaa’s body was brought to her residence, Poes Garden, past midnight and will be kept at Rajaji Hall for the public to pay their last respects. She will be cremated on Tuesday evening.

As a mark of respect to the former chief minister, the Tamil Nadu government has declared December 6 as a public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Senior AIADMK MLA O Panneerselvam was sworn in as new chief minister of the state by Governor Vidyasagar Rao at an event in Raj Bhawan. The government has declared seven days of mourning, with education institutions set to be closed for three days.

Earlier, on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed on Jayalithaa’s condition as Apollo Hospitals denied reports of her death. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who visited the hospital to enquire about her health, briefed the Prime Minister. He, however, did not speak to the media.

In the evening, Apollo Hospitals released a statement saying a “large team” of doctors from AIIMS and Apollo are continuing to provide Jayalithaa with “life-saving measures”.  They rubbished media reports, saying they were “totally baseless and false”.  At the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah, despite no official confirmation of her death, the party’s flag was seen flying at half-mast but was hoisted once again after Apollo Hospitals issued a denial of the former chief minister’s death.

A huge police contingent descended in the capital city to prevent any untoward incident. Supporters clashed with police outside Poes Garden as security personnel struggled to restore calm.

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