Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami on Saturday will inaugurate a temple in Madurai dedicated to the former CM Jayalalithaa and her political mentor MG Ramachandran (MGR).
The inauguration of the temple comes as the state goes for assembly elections in few months. It is the first time that such an event is taking place since the death of AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa in 2016.
Shashikala, Jayalalithaa's aide, has completed her sentence and has been released from jail after 4 years.
The temple, which was commissioned by the state Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar whom Jayalalithaa had first inducted into the cabinet -- has been constructed on a one-and-a-half-acre plot near the city's T Kallupatti area at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. It contains bronze statues of the two leaders.
"We call her by many names. Idaya Theevam (Goddess of Mercy), Kaval Theevam (Goddess of the Gods), Kulasami (Goddess of the Tribes) ... This temple looks the same. We have made all the arrangements so that people can come here and worship. There is a lot of space." the Minister Udhayakumar said.
On the question of the timing of the temple and attempt to gain votes on Jayalalithaa’s legacy, the minister added, "MGR, Jayalalithaa has made many sacrifices. That is why we see many people like Mala as gods and goddesses," the minister replied.
AIADMK, which lost its popularity in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is trying hard to bring back the glory. Earlier this week, the Chief Minister unveiled a 79 crore Phoenix-style memorial to Jayalalithaa. Also, Jayalalithaa's house Pooja Garden has been turned into a memorial. And who the people are on will be revealed in the election.
Earlier, a phoenix-themed memorial for Jayalalithaa was inaugurated at the Marina by chief minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday, three years after he laid its foundation stone along with his deputy O Panneerselvam. CM Palaniswami, Panneerslevam and Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal paid floral tributes at the spot where she was laid to rest after her death on December 5, 2016.