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In pictures: Among the biggest political leaders, Jayalalithaa stood tall

J Jayalalithaa's passing marks the end of one of the most illustrious political careers in the history of modern India.

From a child actress to a successful established movie star to arguably Tamil Nadu's greatest ever politician, Jayalalithaa, fondly known as Amma to her supporters, excelled in everything she touched.

When she first entered politics, few thought that she would make any serious impression, seeing her more as a side act to the illustrious MGR who she'd starred alongside in many films.

However, Jayalalithaa proved that she could more than hold her own. Having joined the AIADMK in 1982, under the guidance of party founder MGR, Jayalalithaa soon rose through the ranks. By 1984 she was a member of the Rajya Sabha.

But that would never be enough for the ambitious Jayalalithaa. After MGR's health faded she tried to assert her leadership over the party. This came to a head after MGR's passing with the party splitting -- some in support of Jayalalithaa and the rest supporting MGRs wife.

Jayalalithaa would not only go on to reunite the party, but turn it into one of the most formidable regional parties in the country. At the time of her passing, she'd been Chief Minister on multiple occasions, having traversed a political career that saw many leaders rise and fall, while she stood still, the rock of Tamil politics.

(Text by Ranjan Crasta, Photo curation by Priyata Brajabasi)

 
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