An enigma called Jayalalithaa Jayaraman
Chennai: The presence of frenzied supporters outside the Apollo Hospital of Chennai coupled with inordinate presence of security presented a gloomy and ominous picture of the eventuality because the destiny has always its way.
Seldom did any hospital go through such situation when the security outside the Hospital has outnumbered the combined strength of medical, para-medical and support staff of one of the biggest hospitals of the country.
It is so because the patient admitted in the Hospital was no ordinary one. She was Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, the charismatic film star-turned politician and six-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
It was also out of routine that the Prime Minister had to tweet to appeal not to create panic and the Ministry of Home Affairs was gathering frequent inputs from the Hospital about condition of AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa. Not only MHA, but the governments is the adjacent states were also edgy and the roads leading to TN have all access control mechanism in place in view of the huge popularity of the departed leader.
This was 69-year-old Jayalalithaa, fondly called as 'Amma', for you whose life and times had become a topic of discussion not only down south but in the entire country, the South Block in New Delhi being on the tenterhooks right through. In fact, the exploits of Amma as an actor and as politician have been no less than a folklore among her fans, supporters and political colleagues.
Career of Jayalalithaa:
Jayalalithaa, as a beautiful and talented artist, was a hit heroine of Tamil movies during 60s and 70s under the tutelage of south Indian superstar MG Ramchandran. Being a protégée of MGR, she took over the reins of AIADMK, formed by MGR in the early 80s and reached the pinnacle of Tamil Nadu politics soon.
· In 1983, she became propaganda secretary for the AIADMK and was chosen as its candidate in the bypoll for the Tiruchendur Assembly constituency.
· She was nominated and elected as the Rajya Sabha member from Tamil Nadu in 1984 and she retained her seat until 1989.
· In 1984, when Ramachandran got incapacitated following a stroke, it is believed that Jaya tried to take over as the Chief Minister of the state, citing his inability to deliver his duties properly.
· In 1989, Jaya contested the Tamil Nadu assembly elections from Bodinayakkanur constituency and became the first woman to become the Leader of the Opposition.
· In February 1989, the two factions, created in the party after the death of MGR, merged and elected Jaya as their leader.
Jayalalithaa attacked and molested in Tamil Nadu Assembly:
· Described as the worst incident in the history of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, on March 25, 1989, there was heavy fights between the ruling DMK and AIADMK leaders.
· Jaya was brutally attacked and visibly molested by DML leaders on the behest of then Chief Minister Karunanidhi.
· Jayalalithaa left the Assembly in torn saree which got lot of media coverage and sympathy of people.
· AIADMK, under Jaya's leadership, during 1989 General Elections joined hand with Congress and had a major victory.
First Term as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, 1991
· In 1991, following Rajiv Gandhi's assassination days before the elections, the alliance of AIADMK and Indian National Congress won 225 out of the 234 seats contested and won all 39 constituencies in the Centre.
· After the emphatic win, Jayalalitha was chosen as the first woman and youngest Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to serve a full term. She served the office from June 24, 1991 to May 12, 1996.
· Jaya's party, however, lost the 1996 Assembly elections winning just 4 out of 168 seats contested due to several allegations of corruption against her as well as party members.
· She herself lost her Bargur constituency to DMK candidate.
· Jaya was arrested on December 7, 1996 and sent to 30-day judicial custody for her alleged involvement with Colour TV scam, in which she was charged with receiving bribes of Rs 10.13 crore.
· She got acquitted in the case on May 30, 2000 by a trail court and the High Court upheld the lower court's order.
Second tenure as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, 2001
· Amma was barred from contenting the 2001 Assembly elections as she was found guilty of criminal offences.
· She appealed in the Supreme Court after being sentenced to five-year imprisonment but the matter couldn’t be resolved till the elections.
· Still, AIADMK won a majority of seats in the elections and elected her their Chief Minister as a non-elected member of the state assembly on May 14, 2001.
· High Court acquitted Jayalalithaa in both, TANSI and Pleasant Stay Hotel cases, on December 4, 2003 and the apex court upheld the order on November 24, 2003.
· She was, however, dethroned as the CM in September 2001 when the SC found that she wouldn’t hold the post whilst being convicted in criminal cases.
· O. Panneerselvam, a minister in her party, was appointed the new CM of Tamil Nadu.
· She returned as CM of state in March 2003 after being acquitted in some cases by Madras High Court.
Third term as Chief Minister, 2011
· Jayalalithaa sworn in as the CM of the state on May 16, 2011 after a 13-party alliance, including AIADMK, won the state assembly elections.
Disproportionate assets case, 2014
· On September 27, 2014, Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rs 100 crore by a Special Court in Bangalore following her involvement in an 18-year-old disproportionate assents case.
· The verdict of the court automatically disqualified her as the CM of the state and also made her the first ever CM in India to be disqualified.
· O. Panneerselvam was again elevated as the Chief Minister on September 29, 2014.
· On October 17, 2014, the SC granted her two months' bail and suspended her sentence. Subsequently, May 11, 2015, a special Bench of the Karnataka High Court quashed conviction on appeal and acquitted her off all charges.
Return as Chief Minister, 2015
· She returned to Chief Minister's office on May 23, 2015, making it the fifth time she sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
· She was again elected by the people of Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar (State Assembly Constituency) of North Chennai in the bye-election held on June 27, 2015, in which she claimed over 88 percent votes of the 74.4 percent turnout.
Elected as Chief Minister in 2016
· Jayalalithaa was once again chosen the CM of Tamil Nadu in the May 2016 elections.
· With this, she became only second CM after M. G. Ramachandran, to serve consecutive terms as Chief Minister.