The mortal remains of AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa were on Tuesday kept in state at Rajaji Hall here for the public to pay their last respects. Draped in her favourite green colour saree, Jayalalithaa’s body was taken from her Poes Garden residence early this morning to Rajaji Hall where hundreds and thousands of supporters queued up to have a last glimpse of their ‘Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’ (Revolutionary Leader Amma).
As the casket carrying the body of six-time chief minister was placed on the steps of Rajaji Hall, in the heart of the city off arterial Anna Salai, four Army men covered it with the national Tricolour. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his ministerial colleagues, MPs and MLAs and senior state government officials were among the first to pay homage to Jayalalithaa, who passed away at the Apollo Hospitals here at 11.30 last night after waging a grim battle for life since her hospitalisation on September 22.
Her long time confidante Sasikala Natarajan is by her side. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu also paid his last respect. Security has been beefed up at the venue where people lined up to bid a tearful adieu to their ‘Amma’ (mother) as the 68-year-old leader was fondly called. Cries of “Amma” rent the air as the public filed past taking a last glimpse of their beloved leader from a distance away from the stairs, where the Tamil Nadu Ministers were seen seated.
Jayalalithaa’s body was first taken to her Poes Garden residence in the early hours and then brought to the Rajaji Hall. The funeral will take place at 4.30 pm at the Dr MGR Memorial site off Marina beach, the state government said in an official communication