BJP supports, Opposition parties decry Jayalalithaa portrait unveiling


Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption forum said, "Though there is no legal bar against the unveiling of Jayalalithaa's portrait, it is not appropriate".

The portrait of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa was unveiled in the state assembly by Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday, even as opposition DMK and Congress boycotted the event, claiming the former AIADMK supremo was "convicted" in a disproportionate assets case and, therefore, did not deserve such an honour.

The portrait occupied a prominent position in the Assembly and was placed at a distance from the other 10 portraits of former CMs and Tamil Nadu icons.

While it was a momentous occasion for her fans and supporters, opposition parties, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Congress, protested against putting up Jayalalithaa's portrait along with other political, social and literary stalwarts of the country inside the state Assembly building.

In this evolving scenario, the big question is, "Will you oppose Jayalalithaa's portrait in Tamil Nadu Assembly?"

According to one report in The Hindu, DMK's Working President Stalin had said, "It is a black move and I condemn it on behalf of the DMK".

The seven feet tall portrait shows Jayalalithaa in her trademark green sari, staring down at the Opposition benches. In fact, Palaniswami wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi a year ago to invite him to grace the Monday's occasion.

The DMK moved a petition Monday morning seeking directions from the court to the Speaker to remove the portrait, similar in grounds of an earlier petition that sought removal of Jayalalithaa's pictures in the welfare schemes in view of her being an accused in the disproportionate assets case.

"Jayalalithaa's portrait will add to the assembly's prestige", said a leader of the AIADMK.

Cooperation Minister Sellur Raju said Jayalalithaa was a revolutionary leader and she deserved to be in the hall of fame.

Commenting on the unveiling of the portrait, Tamilisai said "There is nothing wrong in unveiling Jayalalithaa's portrait in the Assembly; despite some criminal cases against her, she had ruled the State admirably for a long time and she sure deserves this honour". Stalin told journalists that unveiling a portrait of a person who had been convicted by the Supreme Court was against the law.