Amid stiff oppositions from rival parties, including a writ petition filed by DMK in Madras High Court and a complete boycott of the function, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal unveiled a portrait of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the Assembly hall on Sunday.
The ruling party, however, could garner a surprising support from the only woman Congress Vijayadharani who was not only present during the function but also met the Speaker and thanked him for opening Jayalalithaa’s portrait. “I support the government’s move. Jayalalithaa, as a woman, faced so many struggles to become a tall leader of the masses. I admire her a lot,” she said.
BJP state president Tamilisai Sounda-Rarajan, another woman leader, also welcomed the move and said since Jayalalithaa has served as state’s CM on several occasions, there was nothing wrong in unveiling her portrait in the Assembly.
But the Opposition parties, including the DMK and its allies Congress and the IUML, boycotted the event. DMK working president M K Stalin said his party condemned the AIADMK government’s move. Later DMK moved a petition in the Madras High Court, against the unveiling of the portrait. MLA J Anbazhagan’s plea is expected to be taken up soon for hearing.
“Though Anbazhagan filed the petition in the court challenging the government’s move to unveil the portrait, the government arranged a meeting for 9.30 a.m., before the court sits for its session. This shows the AIADMK is misusing its power,” said Stalin. Apart from DMK, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), DMK-led actor-politician Vijayakanth also opposed the move.
Meanwhile, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami said Jayalalithaa’s fame would remain as long the earth exists. While observing that ‘Amma’ is still ruling the State and she has grabbed the world’s attention. He also recalled the historic feat of Jayalalithaa when she single-handedly guided the AIADMK to win 37 of the 39 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and made the party the third largest in the Lok Sabha.
While making her stand clear Congress MLA Vijayadharani said there was nothing wrong in greeting the Speaker for unveiling the portrait of Jayalalithaa in the Legislative Assembly Hall. She also pointed out that Jayalalithaa was not a convict on the day she breathed her last.
The move by Vijayadharani is not a surprise as the AIADMK and Congress were allies for a long time in the state.