In a rare gesture, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government in Tamil Nadu on Thursday observed the 74th birth anniversary of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa by deputing two senior officials to garland her statue here.
Mahesan Kasirajan, Secretary, Tamil Development & Information Department, and V P Jeyaseelan, Director of Information and Public Relations, paid respects to Jayalalithaa by garlanding her statue installed at the Dr J Jayalalithaa complex on Kamarajar Salai here.
The two officials also showered flower petals on the portrait of the late leader. The move came after the government led by Chief Minister M K Stalin decided to observe the birth and death anniversaries of Jayalalithaa, who ruled Tamil Nadu’s political landscape for three decades.
The government also received appreciation on social media for the “matured political courtesy” shown by Stalin to a leader from the principal opposition party. Though bonhomie between ruling and opposition leaders is a common sight in other states, it wasn’t the case when Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi dominated the political scene.
In fact, it was Stalin and his predecessor Edappadi K Palaniswami who ushered in a healthy political culture in the state which had witnessed only acrimony between the treasury and opposition benches. Stalin visited Jayalalithaa in October 2016 when Jayalalithaa was hospitalized and paid respects to her following her death in December 2016.
In February 2018, Palaniswami welcomed Stalin, then Leader of Opposition, in his chambers at the Secretariat and led his cabinet colleagues in paying respects to DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi when he died in August the same year.
Stalin reciprocated the gesture when he drove to Palaniswami’s residence here following his mother’s death.
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