Three-day mourning in Kerala after Jayalalithaa’s death

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 6 (IANS) The Kerala government on Tuesday declared a three-day mourning as a mark of respect to the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who died on Monday night.

The Kerala cabinet on Tuesday morning, without taking up the listed agenda, wound up the meeting after condoling the death of the 68-year-old AIADMK leader.

The state government also declared a holiday on Tuesday to mourn the death.

A high level delegation led by Governor P. Sathasivam and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan left for Chennai to pay their last respects to the deceased leader.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala are also expected to visit Chennai.

Paying glowing tributes to his former Tamil Nadu counterpart, Vijayan said Jayalalithaa was an extraordinary politician who, “in a very short time, proved her administrative skills”.

She always ensured that there was a perfect harmony between the people of our two (neighbouring) states.”

Chandy said she was a “leader of the masses and her concern for the poor was what made her dear to them”.

Kerala Police has sealed the borders in four districts that lie close to Tamil Nadu. Vehicles were only allowed to proceed after a strict checking. The state owned road transport corporation buses terminated their journey at the border.

People a Tamil-dominated colony in Kochi grieved the death of their leader.

“We wish to go to see her one last time, but were told that there are no interstate buses. Hence we decided to sit in prayers here,” said a person in a group of Tamil migrants praying in front of Jayalalithaa’s picture.