Will you oppose Jayalalithaa's portrait in Tamil Nadu Assembly?

Pauline Gross
February 15, 2018

Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday unveiled a seven-ft-high portrait of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the Assembly hall in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

Stalin claimed the Speaker of the House does not have the authority or moral right to unveil the portrait and said it was his duty to request Dhanapal not to do so.

Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption forum, told The Hindu that while there is "no legal bar against the unveiling of Jayalalithaa's portrait, it is not appropriate". DMK boycotted the ceremony.

DMK's MK Stalin terming Monday as "black day" said, "This move has brought down the dignity and sanctity of the House".

The DMK even boycotted the entire event stating that the former chief minister had been convicted in a disproportionate assets case after her death and therefore she is not eligible for such honour. "As the case will be taken up for hearing, the government has organised the event in a hurried manner before 9.30 am", he said. Palaniswami had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to be the chief guest, but chose to preside over the event as there was no reply from the Prime Minister's Office.

While there appears to be no illegality to it, the move to unveil a portrait of Jayalalithaa has divided the political class in the state over the morality of it and the precedence it would set.

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The portrait of Jayalalithaa, in a standing posture in her favourite green saree, was unveiled while a Tamil song (Thanga Tharagaye Varuga), used extensively when she was the chief minister to welcome her to public functions, was briefly played.

In view of her demise, appeals against Jayalalithaa were treated as abated, the petitioner said.

"This assurance and this idea have been expressed to the party high command when our chief minister and the deputy chief minister and we were seated", Sengottaiyan said.

He said Jayalalithaa had implemented welfare measures for people that were dreamt of by leaders like Periyar (rationalist leader E V Ramasamy) and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C N Annadurai.

DMDK chief Vijayakanth has also opposed the move along with Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) chief S Thirunavukkarasar.

Other reports by GizPress

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