Chennai: Over a year after former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was laid to rest at Marina Beach in Chennai, the foundation stone laying ceremony for a memorial ‘mandapam’ was held on Monday morning.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palanisamy placed the first brick for the construction on the ground, and his deputy Panneerselvam the second, marking the formal inauguration of work for the memorial at the beach complex.
A ‘yagna’ and special prayers were conducted ahead of the stone laying event in which Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, Tamil Nadu ministers, MPs and MLAs participated along with the chief minister and his deputy.
However, objecting to the religious ceremony organised, opposition DMK said that such an event “violates the secular culture of the state”. “This has never happened. Their party can have a private yagna, but it can’t be part of a government function. This is yet another attempt by the ruling AIADMK to appease and prove their loyalty to the BJP,” DMK spokesperson A Saravanan said. According to a report in NDTV, a senior minister who didn’t wish to be named said that it should be seen as a private event. “The yagna was held before the foundation laying ceremony. Even though the yagna was mentioned as a government programme it should be seen as the party’s event.”
A large number of AIADMK workers took part in the event. The proposed memorial ‘mandapam’ for late chief minister Jayalalithaa is set to come up behind the memorial of AIADMK founder and former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran.