Parties oppose unveiling J Jayalalithaa's portrait, DMK to boycott event

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

With former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's portrait set to be unveiled in the Assembly hall on Monday, the DMK has submitted a petition to the House secretary opposing the move.

Commenting on the unveiling of the portrait, Tamilisai said "There is nothing wrong in unveiling Jayalalithaa's portrait in the Assembly; despite some criminal cases against her, she had ruled the State admirably for a long time and she sure deserves this honour".

"It is a black move and I condemn it on behalf of the DMK".

However, the main Opposition DMK and its ally the Congress boycotted the unveiling ceremony.

Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal has no right or powers to unveil the portrait of a person convicted in a corruption case, he charged. Referring to the disproportionate assets case in which the Supreme Court had abated proceedings against Jayalalithaa following her death on December 5, 2016, he claimed the move went against Constitution and the apex court judgement.

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.

He had also said that she was regarded as a role model by the chief ministers of other states. "But Jayalalithaa crossed so many hurdles successfully and she was a great leader accepted by people", she added.

The BJP in Tamil Nadu said there was nothing wrong in unveiling the portrait.

Her portrait is the 11th one after Mahatma Gandhi, Periyar EV Ramasamy, CN Annadurai, K Kamraj, Thiruvalluvar, BR Ambedkar, Muthuramalinga Thevar, C Rajagopalachari, Quaide Millath and MG Ramachandran to have found a prominent place inside the massive Assembly building.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May a year ago to be the chief guest for the unveiling.

Cooperation Minister Sellur Raju said Jayalalithaa was a revolutionary leader and she deserved to be in the hall of fame.

The portrait of the former CM in the Assembly is a "disgrace" as she was convicted of corruption, stated the DMK.

The state Assembly Speaker unveiled the portrait in the presence of Chief Ministe E Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other MLAs.