The Political Life Of Jayalalitha

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The Political Life Of Jayalalitha

Jayalalithaa, 68, breathed her last at at 11.30 pm on December 5, 2016 . We take a look at the life of this political goddess.
Dec 6, 2016, 11:12 am ISTLeadersAazad Staff
Jayalalitha life story
  Jayalalitha life story

In 1972, MGR was expelled from DMK by Karunanidhi who saw him as a rival to his Son M.K. Muthu. MGR floated his own party and named it ADMK (later renamed AIADMK) and became a powerful opponent to the DMK.  He became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 30 June 1977. MGR was the first popular film actor to be a Chief Minister in India.

MGR Introduces Jayalalitha to Politics:  

Jayalalitha made her debut in Tamil cinema in 1965 as a lead actress in Vennira Aadai. She also acted in one Hindi film called Izzat opposite Bollywood actor Dharmendra in 1968. She was one of the most popular actresses of the southern film industry for more than a decade. After a successful career in movies, she chose politics as her next career.  

MGR was instrumental in introducing Jayalalithaa to politics. In 1982, Jayalalitha joined AIADMK. In 1983, she became the propaganda secretary for the party and was selected as its candidate in the by-election for the Tiruchendur Assembly constituency. MGR was very fond of Jayalalitha and wanted her to be a member of the Rajya Sabha because of her fluency in English. Jayalalitha was nominated and elected to Rajya Sabha in 1984. Jayalalitha's success in the party made a lot of party members jealous and caused some resentment among high-ranking members of AIADMK.

MGR's Death,

MGR remained the CM of Tamil Nadu till he breathed his last on  24 December 1987.  MGR's wife was not happy with MGR's proximity with Jayalalitha and on the day of MGR's death, Jayalalitha, 38, stood mournfully for 21 hours in a white Saree by MGR's body, suddenly she was assaulted - hit on the forehead by MGR's wife's nephew, Deepan, when she tried to get on to the gun-carriage bearing MGR's body at the start of the funeral procession.  Unable to accompany the procession, she went back to her home. Crowds of party workers and leaders, including MPs and MLAs, started pouring in. The crowds continued the following day. With devout party leaders swearing to stand by her in her claim to be the successor to MGR as party leader.

In an interview with India Today, she described what she went through during MGR's funeral. She said, "At Rajaji Hall I stood by my leader's side for 13 hours the first day and eight hours the second day. I wanted to place a wreath on his body when it was placed on the gun-carriage and join the funeral procession and as I was climbing the carriage, I heard shouts behind and saw MLA Dr. K.P. Ramalingam advancing menacingly towards me. Immediately, a young man in a blue shirt, who I was subsequently told was Tamil film actor Deepan, Janaki's younger brother's son, jumped on to the gun-carriage, hit me on the forehead and pushed me out. The armed forces personnel tried to help me back on top of the carriage, and again Deepan pushed me, beat me, and threw me out. I was injured and bruised all over my body."

Split in AIADMK, Janaki's Rise and Fall as CM:

After the death of MGR in 1987,  his political party, AIADMK, split between his wife Janaki Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa. Janaki was selected as the Chief Minister on 7 January 1988 with the support of 96 members; due in part to irregularities by speaker P.H. Pandian, who dismissed six members to ease her victory, she won a motion of confidence in the house. Janaki's government  lasted only 24 days, the shortest in the history of Tamil Nadu. Her ministry won the vote of confidence of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in January 1988 but the Central Government under the late Rajiv Gandhi used Article 356 of the Constitution of India to dismiss her government. Her party was defeated in the next elections held in 1989 (DMK won the elections) and she quit politics after the unification of the two factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Assembly Elections and Leader of Opposition in 1989:

Due to the split in AIADMK, Karunanidhi's DMK won the 1989 Assembly elections. This election saw the Jayalalithaa-led faction of the AIADMK win 27 seats and Jayalalithaa became the first woman to be elected Leader of the Opposition.

Draupadi Incident In Tamil Nadu Assembly:

On 25 March 1989, the Tamil Nady Assembly witnessed heavy violence among the ruling DMK party members and the opposition. Jayalilatha was brutally attacked and molested by the ruling DMK members in front of the assembly speaker on the behest of CM Karunanidhi. Jayalalitha left the Assembly with her torn saree and this scene created huge sympathy for her and on the other hand people cursed the DMK leader and its member for meting out such ill-treatment on her. Jayalalitha drew a parallel with the shameful disrobing of Draupadi in the epic Mahabharata.

Rajiv Gandhi's Assasination and Dismissal of DMK Govt. in 1991:

On 30 January 1991, the DMK government which had come to power after winning the 1989, was dismissed by the Indian Prime minister Chandra Shekhar using Article 356 of the Indian Constitution. President's rule was imposed on Tamil Nadu from 31 January. The reason cited for the dismissal was the deterioration of law and order in the state and the DMK's alleged closeness to the LTTE.

1991 Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections, Jayalalitha Becomes The Chief Minister For The First Time:

AIADMK-Congress alliance won the elections by a landslide and AIDMK leader J. Jayalalithaa became the chief minister.  Jaya's alliance with the Congress and the wave of public sympathy in the wake of Rajiv Gandhi assassination combined together to produce a massive victory for the ADMK. The M. Karunanidhi led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was hurt by the public perception that it had close ties with LTTE (which was behind the Rajiv Gandhi assassination) and was routed in the elections winning only 2 out of the 234 seats.
Jayalalitha became the first female, and the youngest, chief minister, of Tamil Nadu, to serve a full term, serving from 24 June 1991 to 12 May 1996. Jaya lost power in 1996 elections but came back as CM in 2001. Jaya was convicted in many cases and had to step down as CM in 2001 but returned to the post in March 2003. She was again voted as CM in 2011 Assembly Elections.  her party won again in the subsequent assembly elections and in 2015 she was sworn in as the CM of Tamil Nadu once again.

Sad Demise:

On 22 September 2016, Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospitals, Greame's Road, Chennai, for infection and acute dehydration. Over the next 74 days, she was treated by a team of specialist doctors from Apollo, AIIMS and from the UK. During the course of treatment, her right arm was said to be swollen, as indicated by her inability to affix her signature on the November bye-election nomination papers for three of her party members who were standing for the elections. On December 4, 2016, Jayalalitha suffered a cardiac arrest around 4.45 PM. The hospital officially announced the death of the chief minister on 5 December 2016 at 11:30 PM.



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