- J Jayalalithaa's statue was unveiled at the party headquarters in Chennai
- The stature replaces the one unveiled before that barely looked like her
- The bronze statue was installed next to that of AIADMK's MG Ramachandran
The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has unveiled a bronze statue of former Chief Minister and AIADMK Chief J Jayalalithaa at their party headquarters in Chennai. The life-size statue resembling Ms Jayalalithaa has brought relief and cheer to hundreds of party workers after the party's flop show earlier this year.
In February, the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah had hosted a grand event to celebrate the 70th birth anniversary of J Jayalalithaa. The party had unveiled a life-size statue of their leader, popularly known as Amma, who died in December 2016.
The bronze statue, with a rose garland and her index and middle fingers held up to evoke the two leaves of her party's symbol, was installed next to the sculpture of AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran. However, the joy of party workers was short-lived. The statue barely looked like Ms Jayalalithaa. A closer look revealed an unrecognisable face.
The statue of the five-time chief minister became a subject of ridicule on social media following which it had to be removed. The embarrassed party decided to commission a new one which was unveiled by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam today.
Is this a conspiracy to project chinamma's face onto amma... starting with her hairstyle, naamam, blouses, now statue...completing sasikala's metamorphosis into jayalalitha ! https://t.co/YXnaGtDESS- Kasturi Shankar (@KasthuriShankar) February 24, 2018
The party workers are happy again. They touched the statue's feet, distributed sweets and raised slogans hailing Ms Jayalalithaa.
R Rajalakshmi, former Mylapore lawmaker, said, "The new statue is fantastic. Our twin leaders have brought cheers to the cadre."
The party will also launch its own television news channel "J News" as their earlier broadcast mouthpiece "Jaya TV" is now under the control of the family of Ms Jayalalithaa's aide VK Sasikala.
J Jayalalithaa was the key accused in the disproportionate assets case. She died while she was still Chief Minister and was out on bail in a corruption case. Two months after her death, the Supreme Court indicted her and upheld the lower court verdict sending Sasikala and a few others to jail.
The AIADMK has now been reduced to a minority government with the disqualification of 18 rebel lawmaker. With by-elections due in 20 constituencies, the channel, the party hopes, would help them reach out to voters.
Gokula Indira, AIADMK spokesperson and former minister, said, "Amma's government is taking a lot of welfare measures and this channel would help us to take make people aware about them."