CHENNAI: Just hours after DMK working president MK Stalin petitioned Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan to remove the portraits of the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa from government functions and offices and to rechristen welfare schemes named after her, the AIADMK retaliated strongly by saying that Stalin had no locus standi to make such a demand.
AIADMK presidium chairman KA Sengottaiyan, parliamentary party leader M Thambidurai, deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, ministers D Jayakumar and RB Udhayakumar and many senior office-bearers of the party, including Panruti S Ramachandran, strongly condemned Stalin for his demand and said there was nothing wrong in placing the portraits of Jayalalithaa at government functions.
Stalin, in his petition to the Chief Secretary, said since government functions were organised using public funds, launching schemes in the name of a person convicted by the Supreme Court would be unconstitutional.
In a statement, Dinakaran said, “The memories of Jayalalithaa and her name have been ingrained in the hearts of the people of Tamil Nadu due to the numerous welfare schemes implemented by her and her achievements in resolving inter-State disputes on many issues.
As such, there is no need or compulsion to establish Jayalalithaa’s name just by naming schemes after her.” Alleging that Stalin had described Jayalalithaa as a ‘murder case convict’, Dinakaran said the DMK leader should tender an open apology for his remark.
A few hours later, DMK countered Dinakaran through a statement from its Thiruvaiyaru MLA Durai Chandrasekaran. “It was a slip of the tongue on the part of Stalin and exaggerating it through half-baked statements is nothing but an effort to show that he is also existing in politics,” he said.
Thambidurai said everyone knew that DMK president M Karunanidhi was known for getting a ‘certificate’ from Sarkaria Commission that he was adept in committing corruption in a scientific manner. DMK functionaries A Raja and Kanimozhi were imprisoned with regard to corruption cases. “As such, DMK men have no locus standi to level charges against Jayalalithaa.”
Condemning Stalin for his demand, former chief minister O Panneerselvam said the DMK leader should understand that because of the several welfare schemes implemented by Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu had already become ‘Amma Nadu’ and the people of the State had accepted her as their god. “If efforts are made to remove portraits of Jayalalithaa from government offices, AIADMK cadre would see to it there is no place in Tamil Nadu without Jayalalithaa’s portrait,” he said.