FILE photo: AIADMK chief and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa
J Jayalalithaa may not be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu anymore, but a new scheme launched today is named for her that provides Amma cement, heavily subsidised, for eco-friendly and low-cost housing.
Amma Cement will cost Rs 190 a bag - at least Rs 100 cheaper than the market rate. The government is buying two lakh tonnes from private manufacturers. The government is yet to reveal how much it would cost them annually.
Each person with an approved building plan or approval from a local body can procure upto 750 bags at concessional prices for building up to 1500 sq ft. Those requiring cement for renovation or repair work can also avail upto 100 bags.
Jayalalithaa, the 66-year-old leader of the AIADMK, is referred to as "Amma" by her party workers, who are predisposed to public and
ingratiating shows of loyalty. When she was arrested at the end of September after being convicted for corruption, many shaved their heads as a sign of mourning; public buses were set on fire.
When Jayalalithaa was granted bail by the Supreme Court, judges asked her to formally advise her party to maintain law and order. She picked loyalist O Panneerselvam as her replacement as head of the state government.
To endear her party to voters before the 2011 state election, Ms Jayalalithaa promised to distribute free laptops, grinders and fans to households, a commitment she kept after taking office. Subsidised Amma water and canteens, where idlis are famously sold for as little as Rs 1 a plate, have been among her best-received schemes.