Chennai: The display of portrait ofÂ AIADMKÂ supremo and formerÂ Tamil NaduÂ Chief MinisterÂ JayalalithaaÂ in the tableaux during the Republic DayÂ parade in Chennai stirred up a controversy, with Congress demanding action against the state government by the Centre.
All the 24 tableaux arranged by various departments of the state government paraded during the celebrations had portrait of Jayalalithaa, who was convicted in a graft case, and not that of the Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Tableaux, which did not have her portrait, were the ones from central government departments and the armed forces.
The parade along the Kamarajar Road were witnessed by Governor K Rosaiah, Panneerselvam and his Cabinet of Ministers, senior armed forces officials, members of the consular corps and thousands of people who thronged the area.
The state-run Doordarshan had telecast the programme live.
Slamming the display of portrait, TNCC president EVKS Elangovan told reporters, “The Central government should take action on this. I don’t know how is it fair to display the portrait of a person in government functions, who has been convicted, sentenced and then given a bail by the court.”
At the same time, Congress did not have confidence in the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre, he said, “If it is a just central government, it should have taken action against the ruling AIADMK government on this. They have not taken action. It only strengthens the suspicion whether the meeting of Arun Jaitley and Jayalalithaa is behind this.”
Political parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK and NDA ally PMK had questioned the propriety of Finance Minister Jaitley meeting Jayalalithaa at a time when her appeal against her conviction in an assets case is pending in Karnataka High Court. BJP’s state unit later said it was only to seek her party’s support in Rajya Sabha for passage of crucial bills.
Following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case, Jayalalithaa was disqualified as MLA and vacated her Srirangam Assembly Constituency for which the Election Commission has announced a bypoll on February 13.