As part of the cabinet meeting of ministers convened by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to decide on the release of seven people convicted for Rajiv Gandhiâ€™s assassination, the cabinet recommended that Chennai Central Railway Station be renamed and that former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa be conferred the Bharat Ratna.
Speaking to media persons after the cabinet meeting on Sunday, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said, "Puratchi Thalaivar MGR (former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran) was someone who loved the Tamil people and the Tamil language more than his life. He gave innumerable programs for the development of Tamil Nadu. He also gave the historic nutritious meal scheme. Close on the heels of his centenary celebrations, it has been decided by the cabinet that to recommend to the Central Government that the Chennai Central Railway Station be named Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station."
He also added that late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa should be awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. The Bharat Ratna is awarded in recognition of exceptional service or performance of the highest order in any field. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President.
"Our state government had taken a cabinet decision in this regard and recommended the same to the Central Government in December 2016. We would like to inform that we have once again decided to press the Central Government on the conferring of Bharat Ratna to Amma(Jayalalithaa)," Jayakumar added.
This is not the first time that the state government has recommended that the Bharat Ratna be conferred on the former CM. In late 2016, a PIL had been filed with the Madras High Court, seeking a direction to the central government to posthumously award the Bharat Ratna to Jayalalithaa. This petition was dismissed by the court in early 2017.
In August this year, it was also recommended following the AIADMK Executive Committee meet that Jayalalithaa, former CM CN Annadurai and rationalist thinker Periyar be awarded the Bharat Ratna.
As part of the cabinet meeting on Sunday, the state government decided to recommend the release of seven people convicted for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi to the Governor.