Chennai: Opposition Leader M K Stalin on Monday claimed that President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Banwarilal Purohit refused to unveil the portrait of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the Assembly citing her “conviction” in the disproportionate assets case.
Only after the three leaders refused to participate in the event, did the Tamil Nadu Government hurriedly unveil the portrait on Monday, the DMK Working President claimed.
Stalin had on Sunday taken strong exception to Jayalalithaa's portrait being unveiled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly saying the picture of a convict should not hang on the walls of the “august house.” His party — DMK and allies — Congress and IUML — stayed away from the event on Monday.
“The Speaker accused us of having brought disrepute to the Assembly when we carried packets of gutka inside the House. But now he has insulted the House and gone against the rules by unveiling the picture of a convict at a time when a case in this regard is pending before the Madras High Court,” he said.
Maintaining that all Opposition parties are opposed to the move by the AIADMK Government, Stalin said the Speaker unveiled the portrait only after the President. Prime Minister and Governor refused to do the honours.
“When this is the case, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar says that the portrait of Jayalalithaa should be unveiled in the Parliament. If that is true, will Jayakumar explain why the President and PM did not come to the Assembly today,” he asked.
Jayakumar had earlier in the day said the government would take steps to unveil Jayalalithaa's portrait in Parliament since she was loved by almost everyone in the country.
PMK founder S Ramadoss was at his sarcastic best when said now that Jayalalithaa's portrait has been unveiled, the pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Periyar and Annadurai can be removed.
“Jayalalithaa's portrait has been unveiled in the Assembly. The Assembly has lost its sanctity. So it is better to remove the pictures of 10 eminent personalities including Gandhi, Periyar and Ambedkar,” he said.