Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday turned 68.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to extend birthday wishes to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary. He also phoned and wished her.
Birthday wishes to Jayalalithaa ji. May Almighty bless her with a long life, filled with good health.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 24, 2016
Tamil Nadu Governor Rosaiah heaped praise on Jayalalithaa and credited her with making the state a 'model' one.
"Your rich acumen, wisdom, dynamism and affection towards the people have made Tamil Nadu a model state for people's welfare projects. I wish you a long, happy and healthy life in your mission to steer Tamil Nadu to greater heights," he said in a message to Jayalalithaa, accompanied by a bouquet.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also wished her over phone, an official release said.
TRS MP from Nizamabad and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao's daughter, Kalvakuntla Kavitha, US Consul General in Chennai, Philip A Min, yesteryear actor B Saroja Devi and Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali also greeted the CM.
Party workers across the state celebrated the birthday of 'Amma' with fervour.
Ministers participated in special prayers in places of worship while mega feast, 'annadanam' and distribution of welfare measures were undertaken by AIADMK workers all across the state.
At Chennai, a 68 kg cake was cut by ministers and party workers. A similar initiative was held at Villupuram.
Songs from films featuring AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa, both yesteryear stars, were being played out even as distribution of welfare measures and special prayers marked the occasion.
The popular Amma Unavagam (subsidised canteens) under Corporation of Chennai, distributed free food for people.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, which manages a large number of temples across the state, launched a massive tree sapling planting drive, covering 6868 Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples across the state.
While Vilvam (bael) saplings were planted in Shaivite temples, Punnai (Alexandrian Laurel) and Magizham (ape flower tree) were planted in Vaishnavite temples, by the department.
Special prayers were held at 122 temples on February 22 coinciding with the AIADMK chief's star birthday, as per Tamil almanac.
Twitteratis are wishing Jayalalithaa under the hashtag #Amma68.
As part of the 68th birthday celebrations of Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK party members got Amma`s picture tattooed on their arms.
The tattoos read `Amma everything for us`.
Those willing to wish Jayalalithaa can make a call on the numbers given in the following advertisement:
— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) February 22, 2016
As many as 18 lakh callers had greeted Jayalalithaa on a dedicated phone line established for this purpose, party's IT Wing Secretary K Swaminthan said.
"We have received 18 lakh calls as of 12 noon today and we expect to cross 25 lakh by midnight," he told PTI.
Birthday celebrations for Jayalalithaa had already begun in the state from the beginning of this month.
Earlier, the AIADMK cadre organised mass marriages event and got 68 couples married to mark the 68th birthday of their leader.
The party workers conducted mass marriages and placed bands on the grooms and brides heads with Jayalalitha`s photograph on it.
The entire backdrop and decor was done with Jayalalithaa`s posters.
(With Agency inputs)