Stone laid for Jayalalithaa memorial in Chennai, opposition cries foul


Chennai, May 7: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam here on Monday laid the foundation stone of a memorial to late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The Rs 50-crore memorial will come up on the Marina Beach front, where her body was buried near her mentor and another late Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran’s memorial. Jayalalithaa had died on December 5, 2016.

Special prayers were held ahead of the laying of the foundation stone of the memorial proposed to be shaped like the mythical phoenix and will also house a museum and a knowledge park.

Speaking to the media, Palaniswami said the memorial will be completed in a year’s time.

Opposition leaders opposed the memorial, with PMK founder S. Ramadoss saying that its construction was akin to crowing about corruption.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin said that Jayalalithaa was “accused number one in a disproportionate assets case” and the construction of a memorial to such person is against democracy.

The Supreme Court had on February 14, 2017, convicted then AIADMK chief V.K. Sasikala, a close aide of Jayalalithaa, and two others in the disproportionate assets case, while abating proceedings against Jayalalithaa as she had died in December 2016.

The apex court had said that the Rs 100 crore fine imposed on Jayalalithaa by a trial court can, however, be recovered.

The apex court subsequently rejected a review petition in the matter.

Jayalalithaa was sentenced to a four-year jail term along with Rs 100-crore fine by a Bengaluru court in a corruption case.

Setting aside the Karnataka High Court’s judgment, the top court had restored the trial court verdict that convicted all the accused in the disproportionate assets case.


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