Jayalalithaa is a unique figure in Indian politics who rise, fall and rise again can be scripted into a blockbuster movie. From winning alliances to within the party conflicts to court cases, Amma saw it all and win over everything to be an iconic contemporary politician in India.  

 

A worthy successor of MGR and supreme leader of AIADMK, Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the CM of Tamil Nadu for six times between 1991 till her sad demise. However, her multiple rises to power have not been a smooth ride. Jayalalithaa had to wrestle her way through the power which had many low points. 

 

But, through these turbulent times, her political persona gained such prominence that she became the Amma for party workers and was and still worshipped by her followers. 

 

Jayalalithaa was the permanent undisputed general secretary of AIADMK and party workers of all level including her cabinet ministers openly displayed their devotion of the Puratchi Thalaivi Jayalalithaa. 

 

Interestingly, in India where dynasty politics plays a huge role in becoming an all-powerful leader, Jayalalithaa was an exception without a successor whose rise to power can be attributed to her friends as well as Sasikala, her trusted confidante. 

 

The ruthless, intolerant Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa faced humiliating defeat after the first term as the CM in 1996. But, against all the odds, she bounced back in the next elections and became CM for the second time in 2001. Again she lost in 2006, but her vote bank remained loyal, and she again got elected as CM in 2011. 

 

Jayalalithaa welfare state model during 2011 to 2016, helped her return to power for the record third consecutive term 2016 that came to an abrupt end on the midnight of December 5. 

 

In between case multiple court cases, corruption charges and jail terms in 1996 and again in 2016 which also disqualified her from being the Chief Minister which is first such incident in India. 

 

Jayalalithaa and her political moves definitely secured a permanent spot in national dailies due to various ups and downs including the time when all party MLAs of AIADMK was evicted as well as suspended from state assembly, but Amma did attend the session along and spoke for two hours as leader of the opposition.  

 

It was not only her opposition DMK party leaders who had to fear during her reign, but her own party leaders were also under the radar since her political actions were always unpredictable. 

 

Irrespective of everything, Jayalalithaa is an inspiring figure whose indomitable spirit will always be admired and her demise has left an irreplaceable void in Indian politics.