Parties oppose unveiling Jayalalithaa's portrait, DMK to


In February 2017, just two months after her death, the Supreme Court indicted Jayalalithaa and others in the disproportionate assets case.

A portrait of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was unveiled at the Legislative Assembly hall on Monday, amid boycott by the Opposition parties. The DMK petitioned the Assembly secretary against the government move. State president of the BJP Tamilisai Soundararajan said there was little reason to hark on the taint of corruption that dogged Jayalalithaa for decades, and that one should view her contributions to the state and as a reigning power in politics.

For the loyal AIADMK cadres and the staunch followers of late Jayalalithaa, it may seem to be a time for celebration but not for every common man in the state who is always against adoring a convicted crime and the related leader.

DMK Working President Stalin has opposed the portrait, saying it would set a wrong precedent since Jayalalithaa was convicted in the DA case.

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.

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He alleged the government hurriedly organised the event on Monday morning, before the PIL filed by his party's MLA J Anbazhagan seeking to remove Jayalalithaa's portraits from government offices came up for hearing that day. Under any neutral parameters, unveiling a portrait of a person who had been convicted by the Supreme Court seems to be against law.

The Former Union Health Minister and PMK youth wing leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss said, "Unveiling of Jayalalithaa's portrait in the TN Assembly is unacceptable".

"The DMK does not support the idea to have (her) portrait inside the assembly hall, where portraits of leading lights of Tamil Nadu have been placed", he said.

The portrait, which was unveiled in the presence of Chief Minister E Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam, occupied a prominent position in the Assembly and was placed at a distance from the other 10 portraits of former CMs and Tamil Nadu icons, including CN Annadurai and MG Ramachandran.

Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption forum said, "Though there is no legal bar against the unveiling of Jayalalithaa's portrait, it is not appropriate".