Brushing aside fierce opposition, the Edappadi K Palanisamy government has decided to unveil a portrait of late Chief Minister and general secretary of the ruling AIADMK in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday.
Palanisamy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to unveil the portrait. But Modi politely declined as Jayalalitha has been found guilty of corrupt practices in the disproportionate assets case by the Supreme Court.
Palanisamy, his letter to Modi, said it would be a befitting honour for Jayalalitha as she served as Chief Minister for three terms and was elected six times to the Assembly.
Assembly secretary K Bhoopathi has in a press release said the portrait will be unveiled by Palanisamy in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam.
Jaya will join the galaxy of illustrious predecessors and former Chief Ministers like Rajaji, Kamaraj, MGR and Karunanidhi.
Pannerselvam met Modi in New Delhi in May last year and handed over the letter inviting him to unveil the portrait. Now that Modi has backed out, the Chief Minister has decided to open it himself.
Leader of the Opposition and DMK working president M K Stalin has already come out against the proposal saying it will set a wrong precedent as she is a convicted criminal.
The opposition DMK and its allies Congress and IUML together have 98 in a House of 233. After the disqualification of 18 pro-Dinakaran legislators, the government’s strength has come down to 111, six short of the half-way mark of 117. It is surviving because the High Court has ruled out any floor test until it takes a call on the validity of the disqualification of the rebel AIADMK legislators.
The opposition is set to boycott the function tomorrow.