AIADMK Unveils Jaya’s Portrait in TN Assembly, DMK Moves Madras HC
A PIL against placing portraits of convicted leaders in government buildings is pending in the Madras High Court.
Hours after the AIADMK unveiled a portrait of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the state Assembly on Monday, 12 February, opposition DMK filed a petition in the High Court against it, reported ANI.
Jayalalithaa’s portrait is the 11th to be installed in the Assembly. It was unveiled by Speaker P Dhanapal in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam at around 9:30 am.
Opposition DMK, along with ally Congress, boycotted the unveiling, citing that her portrait cannot be installed as the former CM had been convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
Jayalalithaa, who passed away in December 2016, was accused in a disproportionate assets case, in which her longtime aide VK Sasikala is a serving a four-year jail term. At the time of announcing the judgment in the case, the Supreme Court had abated Jayalalithaa on account of her death.
DMK’s working president MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn the installation, calling the former chief minister a “corrupt” person. He pointed that flashing ‘gutka’ packets to make a point about them being easily available was considered a “violation” by the Assembly, but a portrait of a “convict” was not.
Chief Minister Palaniswami defended the decision to install Jayalalithaa's portrait, saying it would be a great honour for the Assembly as she was committed to the people's welfare. He added that by being elected as the chief minister for six times, she was regarded as a role model by many.
Tweeting a poem about Jayalalithaa, the chief minister said that there was “no doubt” that her legacy will continue to live.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to unveil the portrait in 2017, he did not accept the invitation, sources said.
A Public Interest Litigation against placing portraits of convicted leaders in government buildings is pending in the Madras High Court.
The TN Assembly also houses portraits of leaders like Periyar EV Ramasamy, CN Annadurai, K Kamraj, C Rajagopalachari and MGR among others.
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