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Tamil Nadu chief minister dies after prolonged illness

Jayalalithaa's death plunges one of India's most economically powerful states into a period of political uncertainty

Observers now worry whether a loyalist, without real charisma or mass support, will be able to rule smoothly in the absence of the firebrand leader.

Chennai, India

JAYALALITHAA Jayaram, the chief minister of south India's Tamil Nadu state and one of the country's most popular political leaders, has died after a prolonged illness, hospital authorities announced late Monday night.

"It is with indescribable grief, we announce the

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