Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami is out to prove that all is well in the state's relations with the Centre. On Saturday, even as other political parties openly criticised the ban on slaughter houses brought about by the centre, the AIADMK faction led by EPS proceeded to thank the Centre for the support it was lending to the state government.
What more, following his latest meeting with the Prime Minister in the capital, Edappadi Palaniswami extended him an invitation to unveil a portrait of Jayalalithaa in the State Assembly. Calling PM Modi, a 'towering personality', the Chief Minister requested him to grace the occasion on any day during the month of July.
This move has however, come under criticism, from the opposition in the state. The latest leader to join the chorus against the unveiling of the portrait is PMK founder Ramadoss.
"If Jayalalithaa had been an honest Chief Minister nobody would have a problem with her portrait being placed in the State Assembly. However she was not an honest leader," said Ramdoss according to reports, referring to the former Chief Minister's conviction in the Disproportionate Assets Case.
"The PMK has already taken the matter of her portraits in Government buildings to the High Court. The judgement in this matter is yet to be given. It is unacceptable that the Government would try to unveil a portrait before that case is settled," he added.
"The PMK founder further claimed that both factions of the AIADMK were being controlled by the BJP and were scrambling to prove who the real 'benami' of the Centre is. "This is why they are holding events and inviting the Prime Minister for them," he claimed.
The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, meanwhile questioned what kind of precedent the Prime Minister will be setting, if he chose to attend a ceremony to unveil the portrait of a convict. "The Prime Minister has always liked to be dismissive of the law. So this is not surprising. But if he comes for this event now, will he next come to unveil the portrait of Sasikala who is spending time in jail for being convicted in the same case?" asks Jothimani, a spokesperson.
The DMK was the first party to have opposed portraits of Jayalalithaa being put up on the walls of government offices. DMK working president and leader of the opposition M K Stalin had earlier written to chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan regarding the matter. But the portraits of the former chief Minister continue to adorn government offices.
On February 14, the Apex Court restored a lower court order, convicting former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, her aide V K Sasikala and two others in a disproportionate assets case. The convictes were sentenced to four years in prison for accumulating illicit fortune. The charges against Jayalalithaa had abated since she had died on December 5, 2016, following prolonged illness. The court however held that the criminal conspiracy was hatched at her Poes Garden residence in Chennai. Justice Amitava Roy, who was hearing the case, said it was "startling",the way corruption was carried out by the accused persons with sheer impunity.