470 people ‘die of grief’ in wake of leading Indian politician’s death – party claim

470 people ‘die of grief’ in wake of leading Indian politician’s death – party claim
Nearly 500 people have died because they were “unable to bear the death” of one of India’s most powerful politicians, Jayalalithaa, her party said. However many people are questioning the claim.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram, commonly referred to as Jayalalithaa or Amma (mother), passed away at the age of 68 on December 5 after more than two months in hospital. She served five terms as the Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu between 1991 and 2016.

A former actress who starred in around 140 films, Jayalalithaa was a Tamil cultural icon whose life was more unbelievable than even the most dramatic screenplay.

She was brought into politics by former Tamil movie star and state chief minister, MG Ramachandran.

In 2000 she was convicted of embezzlement and monetary fraud and had to spent time in jail. She was elected the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the third time in the 2011.

On Sunday, AIADMK said that 470 people died due to the shock and grief of her passing.

"[In] total 470 people died, unable to bear the death of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, Rs 3 lakh ($4445.44) aid will be given to each family,” the party tweeted.

The tweet garnered a huge number of sarcastic responses as numerous people took to social media to express skepticism about the number of people supposedly dying because of overwhelming grief.

"People don't die of shock over their own mother's death but here we are told 280 died of shock over Jayalalithaa's demise. Too much to believe," Anshul Saxena said.

Many more questioned where the money would be coming from to pay the families and labeled the idea a scam.

The party previously said it would be pay the medical expenses of a man who attempted to kill himself when news of her illness was released. The bill is reportedly Rs 50,000 ($741). They also said they would be paying a similar amount to a man who chopped his finger off when she died.

Strangely that wasn’t the first time someone chopped off a finger for Jayalalithaa. In 2003 a man made one of his an offering at a Hindu temple so that she would live a long life.