Jaya remembered as dynamic, popular leader
Leaders across the political spectrum on Tuesday paid glowing tributes to late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, describing her as a “towering figure” in Indian politics.
Lauding the leadership qualities and administrative abilities of Jayalalithaa as “outstanding”, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said that as leader of AIADMK and as a four-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa had a “unique and deep empathy with the needs and hope of people”.
“Congress Party, my family and I personally share the grief and pain of the people of Tamil Nadu and her devoted supporters in AIADMK, who have lost their beloved Amma.”
“She was a towering figure in our national and political life who won admiration across the political spectrum for the intrepid spirit with which she faced the ups and downs of her life in politics, for her commitment to the people of her state and her dedication to the honour of India,” she said.
In her condolence message, Sonia said Jayalalithaa lived her entire life with the same indomitable courage with which she battled her last illness.
“Whether it was her welfare schemes for the rural and urban poor or her swift measures in the aftermath of Tsunami or her vision for TN’s industrial development, her leadership qualities and administrative abilities were truly outstanding,” she said.
Condoling her demise, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, “We lost a great leader. Women, farmers, fishermen and the marginalised dreamt through her eyes.We will miss Jayalalithaa ji, Amma to millions”.
Mourning the demise of his Tamil Nadu counterpart, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced one-day state mourning in the state as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
In a condolence message, Kumar said Jayalalithaa’s demise has caused an irreparable loss in the fields of politics, society and art and culture not only in the state of Tamil Nadu, but the entire country.
Paying rich tributes to Jayalalithaa, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad described her as a pro-poor, popular, bold and result-oriented leader of the country.
“Deeply saddened to hear demise of #Amma, a Pro-poor, Popular, Bold, Strong and result oriented Leader of country.
Truly u wil be dearly missed,” he said in a post on Twitter. “My sincere prayers and thoughts are with people of Tamil Nadu, well wishers and family. #Amma did a lot for marginalized, farmers and poor. RIP,” he said in another post.
“Sincerely and humbly request people of AIADMK and Tamil Nadu to bear this huge loss with courage. #Jayalalithaa has left a huge blank in politics,” the RJD supremo said.
In her condolence message, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti described Jayalalithaa as a “mass leader who fought for her people”.
She said the late leader was one of the learned politicians of the country.
Expressing grief, BJP veteran L K Advani said Jayalalithaa was a dominant political personality from Tamil Nadu and a very popular and dynamic leader of the poor and downtrodden.
“She had tremendous will power and carved a special niche for herself in the politics,” he said, recalling that the former film actor was referred as “the queen of Tamil cinema”.
Delhi’s Lt Governor Najeeb Jung said in his condolence message that Jayalalithaa was an extraordinary politician with exceptional administrative skills.
“She was one of the greatest political leaders of contemporary India and was a source of inspiration to many. In her sad demise, India has lost a unique leader, who touched the lives of millions of people. She was an extraordinary politician with exceptional administrative skills and immense following, which made her a distinct leader in Indian politics.”
IAF plane with Prez returns mid way due to snag
An Indian Air Force plane carrying President Pranab Mukherjee to Chennai for the funeral of J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday returned mid-way due to a technical snag. He took off in the same aircraft after about an hour once the snag was fixed.
Earlier this morning, the aircraft had to return to Delhi 30 minutes into the flight as a technical snag was detected.
Sources said using a different aircraft for flying President to Chennai was mulled, but the technical snag was “minor” and fixed quickly to enable the President take the same craft to Chennai. There was a problem with one of the filters, they said.