Chennai: Amid boycott by Opposition parties, a portrait of the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa was unveiled on Monday in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by Speaker P. Dhanapal. In their speeches, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam lavished praise on their late leader and asserted that Jayalalithaa’s fame would remain intact as long as the earth exists.
The seven foot high and five foot wide portrait, drawn by R Mathiazhagan, former principal of Government Arts College, faces the Opposition benches in the Assembly, which on Monday was occupied by AIADMK MPs, senior lawyers and other partymen as the entire Opposition boycotted the event.
With Jayalalithaa’s portrait, the number of pictures in the Tamil Nadu Assembly has gone upto 11. Portraits of former chief ministers C. Rajagopalachari, K. Kamaraj, C.N. Annadurai and M.G. Ramachandran adorn the walls of the building inside the historic Fort St. George besides those of Periyar, Thiruvalluvar and B.R. Ambedkar.
The Jaya portrait has Amaidhi, Valam Valarchi (Peace, Prosperity and Growth) written under it. DMK, Congress and IUML, which have a combined strength of 98 MLAs in the House stayed away from the event even as Congress MLA Vijayadharani met Dhanapal in his chamber after the function and thanked him for the gesture.
“I thanked the Speaker since he has unveiled the picture of a woman chief minister,” she told reporters here.