In poll-bound Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam are set to unveil life-size bronze statues of former Chief Ministers J Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran at the newly-constructed temple at Thirumangalam, Madurai, on Thursday. State Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management R B Udhayakumar while sharing the information said that AIADMK members consider the late leaders as their 'Gods'. He said after consecration, people will be able to offer prayers to MGR and Jayalalithaa.
"As a token of appreciation for their contribution to the party, one senior leader from each of the 234 constituencies has been selected to be honoured at the ceremony. They would also share the stage with CM and would be given a porkili – a golden parrot – along with incentive,” said Udhayakumar.
Earlier, Udhayakumar had said that Jayalalithaa is in the hearts of people of Tamil Nadu. He said, "She was a selfless person, who completely dedicated herself to the welfare of the people. AIADMK cadre worship her as their family deity. My family also worships her."
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Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are due during April-May 2021 and the political parties have started their campaign. While DMK's MK Stalin is eyeing the Chief Minister seat, AIADMK has arrived at reconciliation between two warring factions - of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswami (EPS). Incumbent E Palaniswami has been named as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee. The BJP is yet to make a formal announcement of the alliance with AIADMK and is in talks with Stalin's estranged brother MK Alagiri. On the other side, AIADMK has said that they are the big-brother within the NDA alliance and after a lot of deliberations, BJP has given in. Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan is on a campaign trail and Alagiri has said that the launch of his political party will be in January. Superstar Rajinikanth who was about to launch his party this year has backed out due to health reasons.