The AIADMK's rivals today opposed the ruling party's decision to unveil J Jayalalithaa's portrait in the Assembly claiming that she was "convicted" in a disproportionate assets case, while the main opposition DMK chose to boycott the event tomorrow.
Observing that Ms Jayalalithaa has grabbed the world's attention and has created historyin this historic Assembly, he said he felt as if she was personally blessing the occasion.
Soon after Dhanapal unveiled the portrait of Jayalalithaa, an fantastic work of art by former Tamil Nadu College of Fine Arts principal Mathiyazhagan, a speech delivered by the former chief-minister was broadcast and was met with thunderous applause. At the bottom of the portrait is written the slogan "Peace, Prosperity, Growth", which Jayalalithaa gave ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
He also referred to the achievements during her political career like winning many Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, notification of final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the Union Gazette, raising the storage level of Mullaiperiyar dam to 142 ft and making the AIADMK the third largest party in Parliament.
The Tamil Nadu government, meanwhile, defended its move to unveil Jayalalithaa's portrait, highlighting her "landmark" initiatives, including specific steps for women's empowerment. The assembly hall was crowded with AIADMK partymen besides party legislators, all occupying the opposition benches as well. "All her dreams would be fulfilled by us", he assured.
Congress MLA S Vijayadharani, representing Vilavancode, has invited trouble for hailing the unveiling of the portrait.
Stalin claimed the Speaker of the House does not have the authority or moral right to unveil the portrait and said it was his duty to request Dhanapal not to do so.
According to one report in The Hindu, DMK's Working President Stalin had said, "It is a black move and I condemn it on behalf of the DMK".
Unveiling a portrait of a person who had been convicted by the Supreme Court of India seems to be against the law.
When DMK's petition came up for hearing, first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose said the plea would be taken up on Tuesday.