New Delhi [India], Dec. 6 : As the nation mourns the loss of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who breathed her last on Monday night, a swarm of people flocked to Rajaji Hall in Chennai where her body has been kept to say their last goodbyes, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will also head to pay their tributes.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will also fly down to Chennai to pay his respects to the beloved leader.
A host of leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the demise of Jayalalithaa.
"Deeply saddened at the passing away of Selvi Jayalalithaa. Her demise has left a huge void in Indian politics. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tamil Nadu in this hour of grief. I will always cherish the innumerable occasions when I had the opportunity to interact with Jayalalithaa ji.
May her soul rest in peace," the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets. Describing Jayalalithaa as a towering figure in the national and political life, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the Congress Party, her family and she personally share the grief and pain of the people of the state and her devoted supporters in the 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.
I am deeply grieved to learn of the passing away of Selvi J Jayalalithaa," said Gandhi in a statement.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu asserted that Jaya will go down in the history as a real revolutionary leader as she lived and breathed for the people of her state, adding that she will forever live in the hearts of her people.
Remembering Jayalalithaa as an able administrator who had conviction and courage, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu told ANI here that Amma became a household name in Tamil Nadu because of her pro-poor, pro-people initiatives.
"I personally consider that she has brought a revolution in politics coming from an ordinary background, fighting against all odds by political rivals and her own party.
She always thought about the interest of Tamil Nadu," Naidu said. Meanwhile, cries echoed the streets in Tamil Nadu, where the people, especially Amma's followers and supporters have been mourning since last night, unable to bear her loss.
Roads and lanes sported a deserted look as several shops and market places were shut down in mourning.
Jayalalithaa will be cremated with full state honours at MGR Memorial in Marina Beach today at 4:30 pm, which will be attended by the nation's political top brass.