A section of anti-corruption activists has opposed the decision to unveil former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s portrait in the Assembly on Monday on grounds of “moral impropriety”.“Jayalalithaa was a convicted criminal. They cannot do [unveil her portrait in the Assembly] it. This is a form of impropriety,” contended M.G. Devasahayam, retired IAS officer and convenor, Forum for Electoral Integrity.
When pointed out that the Supreme Court had said charges against stood abated, he argued that the judges had not exonerated her in the case either.
Though mistakes might have been committed by leaders whose portraits are displayed in the House, they were not convicted in any case, he pointed out.
Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption forum said, “Though there is no legal bar against the unveiling of Jayalalithaa’s portrait, it is not appropriate. If she [Jayalalithaa] had been alive, she would have been in jail now.”
Unveiling her portrait would only undermine the value of democracy and governance, he contended and added that it would not send the correct message to all the future Members of Legislative Assembly.
When Information Minister Kadambur Raju’s reaction was sought, he alleged the Opposition parties were opposing the unveiling of the portrait due a “political conspiracy”.
He claimed that other leaders such as BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan and Congress MLA S. Vijayadharani had supported the government decision.