Parties oppose unveiling Jayalalithaa's portrait, DMK to boycott event

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The Speaker P Dhanapal did the honour. At the bottom of the portrait is written the slogan "Peace, Prosperity, Growth", which Jayalalithaa gave ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The Tamil Nadu assembly witnessed on Monday the unveiling of a seven-foot-high portrait of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Congress MLA S Vijayadharani, representing Vilavancode, has invited trouble for hailing the unveiling of the portrait.

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Recalling that the Speaker had described as against conventions of the House the action of the DMK members when they waved gutka packets in the Assembly, only to show that such banned products were easily available, Stalin said the very same Speaker had violated the conventions now.

The petition also noted that DMK had already moved a plea in the High Court seeking to remove the name and photos of Jayalalithaa from government offices, buildings, public sector undertakings and government schemes - a case that is still pending.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin said Jayalalithaa was the "number one" accused in the disproportionate assets case, and was convicted in the case. "Being a national leader admired by many senior politicians in the country, this event should have been organised in the presence of all of them, inviting all national leaders to Chennai", he said. Palaniswami had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to be the chief guest, but made a decision to preside over the event as there was no reply from the Prime Minister's Office. The charges were confirmed by the Supreme Court after finding all the accused including her guilty of corruption charges.

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While there appears to be no illegality to it, the move to unveil a portrait of Jayalalithaa has divided the political class in the state over the morality of it and the precedence it would set.

"The DMK does not support the idea to have (her) portrait inside the assembly hall, where portraits of leading lights of Tamil Nadu have been placed", he said. The case against Jayalalithaa was, however, abated because she died but fines were levied on her properties.

Jayalalithaa now joins Mahatma Gandhi, Periyar EV Ramasamy, CN Annadurai, K Kamaraj, Thiruvalluvar, BR Ambedkar, Muthuramalinga Thevar, C Rajagopalachari, Quaide Millath and her mentor MG Ramachandran as the first woman on the walls of the assembly.

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