Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa’s residence at Poes Garden here was formally turned into a memorial on Thursday.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami inaugurated the memorial at ‘Veda Nilayam’ at a ceremony held with certain restrictions in view of the litigation.
The Madras High Court had on Wednesday allowed the government to inaugurate the memorial but restrained it from throwing the memorial open to the public.
The court passed the interim orders on the petitions filed by Jayalalithaa’s legal heirs J. Deepa and J. Deepak.
Deputy Chief Minister O. Pannerselvam, state cabinet ministers and some senior AIADMK leaders participated in the event and paid floral tributes to a portrait of Jayalalithaa.
However, many AIADMK functionaries who had gathered outside the residence since morning returned disappointed as only few top leaders were allowed to attend the event in view of the court orders.
Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam and senior officials also attended the event, which lasted for a few minutes.
It was in 2017 that the state government decided to convert ‘Veda Nilayam’ into a memorial following demands from AIADMK cadres. The public works department built the memorial and the work was completed early this year.
Deepa and Deepak, niece and nephew of Jayalalithaa respectively, had moved the court opposing the acquisition proceedings. The petitioners also raised an objection to the inaugural on the ground that the inventory of the articles inside the bungalow was not taken in their presence.
The High Court in its interim orders directed that the keys of the premises be handed over to Registrar General after the ceremony.
It was from ‘Veda Nilayam’ that Jayalalithaa was rushed to a private hospital on the night of September 22, 2016. She died while undergoing treatment on December 5, 2016.
Meanwhile, the chief minister also unveiled a 9-feet bronze statue of Jayalalithaa on Kamaraj Road in Chennai.
He unveiled the statue by a drone created by the Dakshya team, which is an advisor to actor Ajith Kumar. The drone also sprinkled flowers on the statue.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister announced that Jayalalithaa’s birthday will be celebrated on February 24 as a state function.
A wreath will be laid at the Jayalalithaa statue erected at the Higher Education Council every year on behalf of the government.
Paliniswami recalled that Jayalalithaa set up a female commando force and made the world look at Tamil Nadu.
He said that more funds have been allocated for education in the last 4 years and more government school students have joined the medical course by providing 7.5 per cent internal allocation for medical studies.