CHENNAI: The first death anniversary of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was marked on Tuesday by separate silent processions to her memorial near the Marina Beach by the ruling AIADMK’s and TTV Dhinakaran’s supporters.
AIADMK cadre and functionaries observed the day in large numbers across the State. In Chennai, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami offered floral tributes to Jayalalithaa at his official residence, where a 14-foot cut-out of the late leader, and a portrait, had been placed.
Later, the Chief Minister, along with deputy O Panneerselvam, led a silent procession from Walajah Road Police Station to Jayalalithaa’s memorial. A large number of functionaries, cadre and State ministers also took part in the procession, wearing black shirts.
After paying homage to Jayalalithaa at her memorial, Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and others took a pledge in front of MGR-Jayalalithaa memorial. Panneerselvam coordinated and led the participants. He read out a pledge recalling the services of Jayalalithaa for the party’s growth. They also vowed to win all future elections — as a fitting tribute to their late leader — and protect their party.
Talking to mediapersons, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai recalled how Jayalalithaa was firm on asserting the Dravidian ideology of State autonomy, and worked for the welfare of the State.
On Tuesday evening, both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, accompanied by senior functionaries of the party, paid floral tributes at the portrait of Jayalalithaa and held a detailed discussion on strategies for RK Nagar by-election. Dhinakaran along with his supporters also led a procession to the memorial of Jayalalithaa.
Earlier in the day, a large number of AIADMK cadre, particularly women, paid homage to their leader. Many were seen crying. The stretch of Kamarajar Salai on Marina was filled with cut-outs of Jayalalithaa. Her cut-outs were seen in many other parts of the city as well.