DMK objects to Jaya’s portraits in govt offices

Chennai: The DMK today called for the removal of portraits of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from government offices, saying she was convicted in an assets case.

DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly M K Stalin also opposed the naming of government schemes after her and “the use of taxpayers’ money for her 69th birthday celebrations” yesterday.

“Jayalalithaa was convicted (in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case). Already there are some schemes in her name and the government should not allow new schemes to be named after her,” he told reporters here.

Stalin also wanted the schemes named after her to be re-named. He said the late Chief Minister’s portraits were found at the Secretariat, the ministers’ rooms and local body offices and called for their removal.

“If this situation remains, the need for us to approach the court will certainly come up. Not just (some) elected representatives but people also are opposing this and it could lead to a law and order problem,” he said.

Stalin said he took up these matters with Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan who assured that he’ll look into them, he said. Stalin also took exception to the state government advertisements given on the occasion of Jayalalithaa’s 69th birthday and criticised the participation of Chief Minister Edappady K Palaniswami, his ministers and senior officials, including the Chief Secretary, in a tree plantation drive.

On February 14, the Supreme Court had restored a lower court order on convicting Jayalalithaa, her aide V K Sasikala and two others to four years in prison in connection with the assets case.

The charges against the late Chief Minister had abated since she had passed away on December 5, 2016 but the court had held that the criminal conspiracy was hatched at her Poes Garden residence here.

The apex court had held that Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two other convicts had entered into a conspiracy and the late Chief Minister, who was a public servant at the relevant time, had come to possess assets disproportionate to the known sources of her income during the check period.

To a question, Stalin said he has not received the unedited footage of the visuals recorded during the February 18 floor test in the state Assembly which was won by Palaniswami.

DMK had earlier moved the Madras High Court against the confidence vote and the court had directed the opposition party to provide clippings or any other recordings to substantiate its claim that the trust vote was held by “contravening” the rules of the state Assembly.