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Nation prays as Jayalalithaa battles for life

SNS | New Delhi |

As thousands gather and pray for the speedy recovery of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, doctors in Apollo Hospital on Monday said that her situation was “extremely grave” despite their best efforts.

 “Despite our best efforts, our beloved CM remains in a grave situation,” Apollo Hospital's Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy said in a Twitter post.

“The situation is extremely grave but I can confirm that everything possible is being done to give her the best chance of surviving (the cardiac arrest),” Dr Richard Beale said in a statement. Beale, from the London Bridge Hospital, has been regularly consulted by doctors at the Apollo Hospital here ever since Jayalalithaa was admitted in September.

This comes barely two hours after the hospital in an official statement said that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (AIADMK) leader “continues to be very critical”.

Jayalalithaa, who suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening, “continues to be very critical and is on ECMO and other life support systems”, according to an earlier statement from the hospital. It said she was being treated and closely monitored by experts.

AIADMK MLAs have rushed to the hospital. They would be holding a meeting at 6 pm in an apparent move to pick a successor.

Earlier in the morning, Jayalalithaa was declared out of danger by Union Health Minister JP Nadda. “She is out of danger but she needs ICU care,” Nadda told a television news channel in New Delhi.

However, crowds throng the hospital from Sunday evening as news spread like wildfire that the AIADMK leader, who has been continuously in hospital since September 22, had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who has additional charge of Tamil Nadu, visited the hospital on Sunday night. But he did not issue any statement after his hospital visit. On earlier occasions, Raj Bhavan used to issue statements each time he visited Apollo Hospital.

The hospital, in a tweet, called on the people to pray for the CM: “The Hon'ble CM is the beloved leader of the masses. Please join us in praying for her speedy recovery. #GodblessAmma #Jayalalithaa.”

Tamil Nadu ministers and legislators gathered at the hospital along with a mass of AIADMK activists and her supporters. Many broke down outside the hospital. Some men and women, their hands folded, offered silent prayers for her early recovery. Some tried to enter the hospital premises but were restrained.

President Pranab Mukherjee joined the political class in wishing Jayalalithaa a speedy recovery.

“Distressed to hear about Jayalalithaa suffering a cardiac arrest, my prayers for her speedy recovery,” said a post on the President's Twitter account.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi and his son and party leader MK Stalin also conveyed their best wishes for her recovery.

“Let her be healthy soon,” tweeted Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

“Praying for Jayalalithaaji's quick recovery. I hope she gets better very soon,” said Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her concern and wrote. “May God bless her.”

“Maharashtra prays for her speedy recovery,” posted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje tweeted: “Prayers for the speedy recovery of Jayalalithaaji. May she get recover soon.”

RJD chief Lalu Prasad said: “Totally worried about the health of Jayalalithaaji… Let's all pray for her.”

Jayalalithaa was first admitted to the hospital for treatment of fever and dehydration on September 22. 

Apollo Hospital earlier said she was on the road to recovery and she could take a decision on going home.

Meanwhile, a large number of police personnel were deployed at the Apollo hospital. Security was also stepped up across the sprawling state where Jayalalithaa enjoys widespread support.

Also, authorities in Kerala have strengthened security on the border with Tamil Nadu. Police were told to be alert in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki and Palakkad districts that border Tamil Nadu.

(With inputs from Agencies)