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Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the leader of the state's AIADMK party passed away sending shockwaves across the country.
The 68-year old, who had been hospitalized at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital since September, was undergoing treatment for severe cardiac and pulmonary issues.
Jayalalitha has been one of the most powerful female politician in the country and was known for her stern implementation of reforms.
Here are some of her key leadership qualities which made her a cult leader.
Stern implementation of Reforms – Amma (mother), as she was popularly known by her followers, has introduced several schemes and policies for the benefit of the common man. Schemes such as, affordable meal plans (amma canteen), water bottles, basic food amenities were implemented under Amma Unavagam. In her last election manifesto, she had also promised to carry out the prohibition of alcohol across the state.
Valiant Nature – Jayalalithaa, who had been elected the Chief Minister of the state five times, had always given a stern political stance in the state. Even when not in power, she had never shied away from voicing her opinion as a strong opposition leader against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M. Karunanidhi. She has been also on the forefront in voicing her perspective on several central government reforms and had always put up a stern stance before the state of Karnataka regarding the ongoing Cauvery River issue.
Did not belong to any hierarchy – Despite the fact that she had not belong to a affluent political party, she had showed remarkable leadership skills as the Chief Minister of the state. She had started her career as an actress and had acted in close to 150 films in various languages. She took over as the political heiress soon after the death of actor turned politician M.G. Ramachandran.
People’s Leader – Jayalalithaa had always received the undying love from her followers. Despite several ups and downs in her political career, her followers have showed undeterred emotions for their leader during both good and bad times. She had received cult -like following from the state, especially from rural areas, despite her ongoing court room battles regarding disproportionate assets.
When Tamil Nadu was hit by a severe cyclone in 2015, she was quick to announce a slew of initiatives, which included interest free loans for farmers and small traders to revive their businesses.
Breaking the Patriarchy : Politics in Tamil Nadu had been a patriarchal affair in the state. But that had never shunned Jayalalithaa from showing her mettle as a leader. She had time and again proved herself and emerged as a strong leader winning the love of the masses.
We at Entrepreneur India mourn the demise of this lady scion.