May 22, 2018, 7:43 pm IST
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Speaker unveils Jaya portrait amidst controversy

Speaker unveils Jaya portrait amidst controversy

S Murari, Feb 12, 2018

The Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker S Dhanapal today unveiled a portrait of former Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and AIADMK supremo in the Assembly as the DMK-led opposition boycotted the function holding that he undermined the dignity of the House by unveiling the portrait of a convicted criminal.

The portrait is the 11th to be installed in the Assembly. The portrait was unveiled by Speaker P Dhanapal in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

Palaniswamy defended the decision saying it would be a great honour for the Assembly as four-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who was elected to the House six times was committed to the people's welfare. She said Jayalalitha was regarded as a role model by many.

Blasting the Government for hurriedly unveiling the portrait as the Madras High Court had taken up for consideration a petition filed by DMK, Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin said not only Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but also Governor and President refused to attend .

The Assembly already has portraits of leaders like Periyar EV Ramasamy, CN Annadurai, K Kamaraj, C Rajagopalachari and MGR among others.

None of them was tainted by corruption unlike Jayalalitha who was convicted in corruption cases by special courts way back in 2001.The conviction in the disproportionate assets case by the Supreme Court was a culmination of a 18-year legal battle by her to delay the verdict. She was held to be No 1 acccused and her aide Sasikala the second accused. Both were sentenced to four years imprisonment . While Jaya was fined Rs 100 crore, Sasikala and other co-convicts Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran were fined Rs10 crore.


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