The followers of matinee idol and former Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran are preparing to mark his 93rd birth anniversary in a big way.

The birth anniversary of the leader revered by followers as Puratchi Thalaivar (revolutionary leader) and popularly known as MGR, would be celebrated all over the State tomorrow.

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, in a statement, asked her party members to organise functions to celebrate his birth anniversary.

She will garland the statue of her political mentor at the party headquarters here.

MGR, who died 23 years ago was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, in 1917 and his family moved to India a few years later.

Poverty compelled him to join theatre at the early age of seven and then enter the movie business as an actor.

Depicted in his films as saviour of the underprivileged which endeared him to the masses, MGR was the numero uno of Tamil cinema before he took the plunge into politics in 1953, joining the DMK.

He floated the AIADMK in 1972 after he was suspended from DMK that year when he levelled corruption charges against the then Karunanidhi government and asked for party accounts.

Next year, his party not only wrested the Dindigul Lok Sabha seat in a bye-election, but also formed its government in the union territory of Pondicherry (now Puducherry).

He became Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in 1977, defeating the Karunanidhi-led DMK and continued in the post till he died following cardiac arrest in 1987.

The leader is remembered by people for many of his social welfare schemes, including the free mid-day meals scheme for school children.

MGR’s death saw his party split into two factions, one led by his widow Janaki and another by Jayalalithaa, who had acted as his heroine in over 50 movies. After the 1989 assembly polls, both factions merged under Jayalalithaa’s leadership.

Keywords: MGRTamil NaduAIADMK