The AIADMK’s rivals on Sunday opposed the ruling party’s decision to unveil J Jayalalithaa’s portrait in the Assembly claiming that she was “convicted” in a disproportionate assets case, while the main opposition DMK decided to boycott the event on Monday. The Tamil Nadu government had yesterday announced that Jayalalithaa’s portrait would be unveiled in the Assembly on February 12 by Speaker P Dhanapal.
DMK Working President M K Stalin termed Monday as a ‘black day’ in the history of the Assembly and informed the reporters that his party would not take part in the programme. 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.
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. Parties, including the CPI(M), joined the DMK in opposing the AIADMK’s move. CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said, “It will be a wrong precedent to unveil the portrait of a person who was convicted in the disproportionate assets case. We urge the Tamil Nadu government to give up this step.”
PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters in Coimbatore that his party is totally opposed to the move and if needed they would move court. However, the BJP in Tamil Nadu begged to differ with its state president Tamilisai Soundararajan saying that notwithstanding the verdict, there was nothing wrong in unveiling the portrait as Jayalalithaa, as the chief minister, had worked for the state’s welfare. The Tamil Nadu government, meanwhile, defended its move to unveil Jayalalithaa’s portrait, highlighting her ‘landmark’ initiatives, including specific steps for women’s empowerment.
Hailing Jayalalithaa for her achievements, Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju pointed out measures like the cradle baby scheme to protect girl children and starting the first all women police stations in India. 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.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines