Indian supporters surround the coffin of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram at Rajaji hall in Chennai on Dec. 6, 2016. / AFP / ARUN SANKAR
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The party of Jayalalithaa Jayaram, a powerful Indian politician who died Monday, appointed a loyalist to lead her southern state and keep her supporters together as thousands of them grieved in the streets.Jayalalithaa, the five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, ran her AIADMK party with an iron hand and appointed no second line of leadership or successor.An hour after her party announced her death late Monday after a cardiac arrest, state Finance Minister O.P. Panneerselvam was sworn in to lead economically important Tamil Nadu, a base for auto firms Ford Motor Daimler, Hyundai and Nissan and IT firm Cognizant ."She was not only our leader, she was our god," said Paasarai Jeeva, a woman who said she had been camping outside the hospital for a week.State authorities ordered seven days of mourning, schools were shut and thousands of police deployed to prevent her supporters from creating public disorder or from harming themselves in grief.
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