Soon after a seven-foot high portrait of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa was unveiled in the Tamil Nadu assembly by Speaker P Dhanapal, the DMK on Monday moved the Madras high court seeking to remove it, as Jayalalithaa was found guilty of corruption charges by the Supreme Court.
The portrait stands alone and high in the assembly gallery, at a distance from the 10 other images of chief ministers and Tamil Nadu icons.
The DMK, objecting to the big display for a leader it says was steeped in corruption, has petitioned the Madras High court to step in and have the portrait removed. Jayalalithaa’s portrait in the assembly is a “disgrace”, says the party.
The Supreme Court, in its order on February 14, 2017, said that the appeals against Jayalalithaa stood abated with her death in December 2016. But the three other accused, including Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala, were convicted and are now lodged at the Bengaluru Central Prison.
‘Amaidhi, Valam, Valarchi (Peace, Prosperity, Progress)’ — her motto for the 2016 Assembly elections — was painted below her portrait.
Legislators from the DMK, the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League boycotted the event, which was held in the Assembly Hall.
DMK working president MK Stalin said had Jayalalithaa been alive, she would have been serving time in Bengaluru jail along with VK Sasikala.
“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.