No prior announcement of inauguration by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa

The renovated memorial of former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran, with a giant-sized “two leaves” symbol of the AIADMK adorning the façade, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday.

There was no prior announcement about the inauguration and mediapersons were informed about the “visit” of Chief Minister to the memorial in the afternoon.

Just a few days ago, DMK’s legal wing secretary R.S. Bharathi filed a petition in the Madras High Court, seeking to restrain the State government from erecting “two leaves,” which, Mr. Bharathi contended, represented a symbol recognised by the Election Commission.

The case is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday. About a week ago, Mr. Bharathi also wrote to the State government, expressing his objection to the erection of the official symbol of the AIADMK.

When the DMK was in power during 1996-2001, it remodelled the Anna mausoleum and the entrance arch carried the design of “Rising Sun,” a symbol of the DMK. After the AIADMK returned to power in May 2001, the design was removed.

The renovation of the memorial was originally announced in the Assembly during the debate on demand for grants for the Information Department in August-September 2011.

At that time, the government also stated that the memorial for former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai would be renovated.

The total allocation for remodelling the façade of the memorial and the wall around it is Rs. 3.40 crore. The memorial, spread over 8.25 acres, is being renovated at a cost of Rs. 4.30 crore.

The structure reflecting the “two leaves” symbol has been erected between giant columns, resembling ancient Greek architecture. On the forefront of the memorial stands a statue of a gold-coloured flying horse, symbolising Pegasus of the Greek mythology.

Scores of people visited the renovated MGR memorial and the Anna memorial in the adjacent area and many were seen placing their ears on the mausoleum, as there is a belief that the Rado watch buried with MGR is still ticking.

An official release said the open space of MGR memorial had been decorated with Korean grass and ornamental species such as plumeria, alpha, date palm, spider lilly and adenium. The footpath has been laid with granite blocks.

A guitar-shaped footpath has been created around the mausoleum. Two pergolas having 18-metre width have also been constructed. Ramps have been built for the benefit of physically challenged. Other enhancements include a fountain in the middle of memorial and a beautiful waterfall behind the mausoleum.