Chennai: Cries of ‘Amma, Amma’ from hundreds of AIADMK supporters rent the air outside Apollo Hospitals where J Jayalalithaa breathed her last after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.
Chest-thumping and wailing, men and women could not come to terms that their beloved leader was no more as the ambulance carrying the late Chief Minister left the hospital to her Poes Garden residence.
A cavalcade preceded and followed the ambulance, accompanied by security personnel on its doors to prevent the grief stricken supporters from coming in the way of the vehicle, which inched its way forward.
From the night of September 22 when she was hospitalised for fever and dehydration, various union ministers and film personalities, besides well-known people from various walks of life, had visited the hospital to enquire about her health.
The hospital had been issuing updates on the health status of the 68-year-old leader, varying from her recovering well to her being in a critical state.
Apollo Hospitals chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy and a host of leaders had evinced confidence that Jayalalithaa would return following her recovery.
Special prayers were constantly held by lakhs of party workers across Tamil Nadu in temples and other places of worship soon after being hospitalised 75 days ago.
Jayalalithaa was fondly called ‘Amma’ meaning Mother by the party workers.
Soon after she suffered a cardiac arrest on December 4 a flurry of activities had been taking place at the hospital.
This included deployment of additional forces and anxious party cadres hoping for recovery of their charismatic leader frequenting the hospital to enquire about her health status.
As news of Jayalalithaa’s death spread across the state, several traders downed shutters while government declared three day holiday for schools and colleges.