President Pranab Mukherjee, flying to Chennai on Tuesday to pay tribute to J Jayalalithaa, had to return to Delhi after the Indian Air Force plane taking him developed a technical snag mid-air. He left soon after the problem was fixed.
Mr Mukherjee was reportedly insistent on going to Chennai for Jayalalithaa, a politician he said he had known for many years.
Last night, Mr Mukherjee had spoken glowingly of the 68-year-old, saying he was “deeply sad” at her death. “She had a wonderful mastery of facts and theories…She was a fighter and fought till the last moment,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also flew to in the Tamil Nadu capital, where lakhs of people mourned Jayalalithaa’s death.
National mourning has been declared for today and flags will be at half-mast.