Jayalalithaa's portrait unveiled in TN Assembly, DMK moves court for its removal

J Jayalalithaa

Jayalalithaa's portrait unveiled in TN Assembly, DMK moves court for its removal

Therefore the decision of the incumbent AIADMK government to unveil a portrait of its late leader and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly hall simply sounds very bad in law.

Contending that Jayalalithaa was convicted posthumously in a corruption case, opposition leaders have objected to the decision.

In a Tweet, the working president of the party MK Stalin questioned why the Assembly took exception to some of his legislators bringing packets of Gutkha into the Assembly to prove how easily the banned substance was available, when it had no qualms unveiling the portrait of a convict inside the assembly.

Like the DMK, the CPM has also opposed the move on the ground that the former Chief Minister had been convicted in the disproportionate assets case by the Supreme Court.In his petition, DMK Chepauk-Tiruvallikeni MLA J Anbazhagan said the move would reduce the dignity of the Assembly and urged the Assembly secretary to halt the event immediately.

Ms Jayalalithaa's portrait was the 11th leader to adorn the walls of the Assembly.

"The firms and companies were operating from the residence of Jayalalithaa and it can not be accepted that she was unaware of the same even though she feigned ignorance about the activities carried on by Sasikala", the court has said of the companies in whose names properties were bought.

The seven feet tall portrait shows Jayalalithaa in her trademark green sari, staring down at the Opposition benches.

Charges against Jayalalithaa were abated after her death on December 5, 2016 but the court did say that the former chief minister was in league with Sasikala. "Also, it is not wrong to construct a memorial for her", Congress MLA S. Vijayadharani said.

However, the BJP begged to differ, saying that notwithstanding the conviction, there was nothing wrong in unveiling the portrait as Jayalalithaa had worked for the state's welfare. "There is nothing wrong in opening her portrait in TN Assembly hall", she added. Palaniswami and Deputy chief-minister O. Panneerselvam are expected to grace the occasion.

The portrait stands alone and high in the assembly gallery, at a distance from the 10 other images of chief ministers and Tamil Nadu icons.

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