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Jayalalithaa, India's 'mother', dies at 68

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Siddhartha Kumar

With millions of supporters, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, was one of India's most powerful yet controversial leaders who held sway in domestic politics for the past quarter century.

She was a major political force not only in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, where she was chief minister four times, but also on the national level.

Jayalalithaa was the head of the regional All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK), which won 37 seats in the 2014 national polls, making it the third largest party in India's parliament.

The portly, sari-clad Jayalalithaa had a deep connect with the Tamil masses who endearingly called her Amma, mother or Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader).

A former actress, her political career saw a number of ups and downs, with corruption allegations and brief periods of political exile.

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