Updated: January 27, 2021 2:21:54 pm
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami Wednesday inaugurated a grand memorial built for AIADMK supremo and former CM J Jayalalithaa. Spread over 50,000 square feet, the structure is built at a cost of Rs 79.75 crore alongside the Marina Beach in Chennai.
Apart from CM Edappadi, Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, Tamil Nadu cabinet ministers, Speaker P Dhanapal, MLAs, MPS, and other dignitaries took part in the mega event.
Scores of AIADMK cadres started to gather at the venue from early morning on Wednesday. The memorial was decked up with flowers. The giant structure is right behind the memorial of former chief minister MG Ramachandran (MGR). LED screens were set up at a couple of places near the Kamarajar Salai for the cadres to view the event.
Speaking at the event, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said Jayalalithaa served as the mother to the people of Tamil Nadu. “DMK president MK Stalin tried all the tricks under his sleeves to stall the construction of this memorial. Through his ‘Benamis’ he filed many cases, but nothing prevented us from inaugurating this beautiful structure. We have to win the upcoming elections by a big margin and return to this place to thank our Amma.”
Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam said the party is forever indebted to late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. “The memorial is not just another building. All of us have built a temple for our Amma inside our hearts and this is an expression of that. Whoever steps into the memorial, will remember Amma’s dearly smile. Amma’s aatchi (governance) will continue in Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Close to 15,000 police personnel have been deployed near the Marina beach. Traffic arrangements have been made accordingly. The entire stretch of Kamarajar Salai from Light House to War Memorial has been shut for public use since 6 a.m. Commuters will be allowed to travel on that road only after the conclusion of the event.
The memorial is surrounded by manicured lush gardens and water cascades. A state of the art museum and a knowledge park constructed at the northern and southern end of the building will be unveiled soon. Bust-size statues of MGR and Jayalalithaa have been set up at the entrance to welcome the visitors.
The Tamil Nadu cabinet decided to construct a memorial for their party supremo soon after her demise in February 2016. Chief Minister Edappadi laid the foundation of the giant structure in May 2018.
In other news, ousted AIADMK leader and J Jayalalithaa’s confidante VK Sasikala was also released from the Bengaluru prison today. Sasikala, who served a four-year prison term in a disproportionate assets case, last visited the Jayalalithaa memorial and took three vows before heading to the prison. Charges against Jayalalithaa were abated in view of her death on December 5, 2016.
Reacting to the development, Sasikala’s nephew said, “AIADMK government opening the Jayalalithaa Memorial today means they are also celebrating the release of Chinnamma (V K Sasikala) in Chennai… Recapturing AIADMK and establish Amma’s rule was the key objective in the formation of AMMK. We will continue to work towards that.”
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