Placing Jayalalithaa on a larger than life pedestal is not new for the AIADMK.

Ammas Omnipresence How CM Jayalalithaa is present in every official meeting of TN govt
news Politics Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 18:05

On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam headed the first cabinet meeting in the state since the hospitalization of CM J Jayalalithaa.

To nobody’s surprise, a framed portrait of the AIADMK chief was overseeing her cabinet’s meeting. While Jayalalithaa is confined to a hospital bed in Chennai, her picture was enough to let everyone on the table know who was still boss.

The governor’s office had allocated all portfolios held by J Jayalalithaa to O Panneerselvam on October 11. And the loyal soldier that he is, O Pannerselvam made sure that his CM's face was prominently displayed at the meeting. 

However, this is not a new routine in Tamil Nadu.

Not just O Panneerselvam, but every meeting held in the state under the aegis of a minister or bureaucrat always has a portrait of Jayalalithaa present. And this was a custom at all official meetings even before Jayalalithaa was hospitalised.

Don’t believe? See the pictures below.

Social Welfare Minister  V Saroja in a meeting regarding the welfare of disabled people on Oct 14. 2016.

 

Urban Development and Housing Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan addressing in a meeting on Oct 14. 2016.

 

 
A meeting held by Agricultural Minister  R. Doraikkannu with officers on 25 July, 2016.
 
 
 
Small and Cottage Industries Minister P Benjamin speaking at a meeting at SIDCO head office
 
Placing Jayalalithaa on a larger than life pedestal is not new for the AIADMK. A reluctant Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam was made the Chief Minister after Jayalalithaa's conviction in 2001. Back then, he even refused to occupy the CM’s seat, and would instead only sit on a chair next to the CM’s seat. In 2014, he and all other cabinet ministers sobbed as he took oath as Chief minister for the second time.
 
Sometimes however, this sycophancy has attracted much criticism. During the floods that ravaged Chennai in 2015, AIADMK was accused of printing Jayalalithaa's face on relief materials. 

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