Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government and ruling AIADMK have urged the Centre to honour late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran on his birth centenary with a commemorative coin and special postage stamp, saying the iconic leader deserves such an honour.
Both Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and the newly- appointed AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala have written to Prime Minister Narenda Modi in this regard.
While Panneerselvam said the issuance of a commemorative coin and special postal stamp will be a “fitting tribute” to the charismatic actor-politician, Sasikala said the iconic leader deserves such an honour.
They paid rich tributes to Ramachandran, detailing his various efforts in implementing pro-people policies and at the same time upholding law and order.
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Panneerselvam hailed Ramachandran as an “inspirational figure” who is remembered for his “magnanimity, generosity, commanding leadership and determination to fight for the legitimate rights of the states”.
“On the occasion of Puratchi Thalaivar (Revolutionary Leader) MGR’s birth centenary, it would be a fitting tribute to a great leader, an inspiring icon, who is eternally embedded in the hearts of the people of Tamil Nadu, to issue a commemorative coin and a special postal stamp,” he said.
He recalled that Ramachandran had been awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, for his “unparallelled public service”.
He said Ramachandran was one of the most illustrious, charismatic and popular chief ministers of the state, remembered for having launched several innovative welfare programmes which, Panneerselvam said, “have become model schemes implemented throughout the country”.
Sasikala, who succeeded the late J Jayalalithaa as AIADMK General Secretary last week, told the Prime Minister that she was writing to him “strongly proposing” a commemorative coin and special postage stamp for her party founder “in view of his exemplary service to the people.”
She recalled his various pro-people policies, especially the popular noon meal scheme, saying it was a “spectacular success” although it was “touted” to be unimplementable in view of its “vast scope”.
“This scheme is still running successfully in Tamil Nadu and has been replicated in almost all states of India,” she said, adding, it had received accolades not only from across the country, but from the UN as well.
Sasikala said MGR had implemented a number of schemes in different sectors, including women’s welfare, power sector and PDS among others.
He was strict in enforcing law and order and “played a key role in removing Naxals from Tamil Nadu” in the 1980s with strong measures, she said, adding, “till date there is no Naxalism” in the state.
She also recalled MGR’s “charitable and philanthropic activities”, saying he was the first donor during the Indo- China war when he donated Rs 75,000 towards the war fund.
“Puratchi Thalaivar M G Ramachandran was a charismatic leader who formulated and implemented welfare oriented schemes with administrative acumen, touching the right nerve with the masses. He was a dynamic leader who was in touch with the ground realities, unfettered by his immense popularity,” she added.
He transcended caste, creed and religion and worked to protect the interests of the weaker and vulnerable sections of the society, she said.
His vision, commanding leadership, discipline and the determination to fight against all odds for the underdog made him an iconic figure, inspiring millions even today, she said.
“Such an iconic leader, who has touched the hearts of millions of people, deserves a special postage stamp and a commemorative coin with his image, on the occasion of his birth centenary, which falls on January 17, 2017.”
“I request you to kindly take immediate necessary action to issue a commemorative coin and a special postage stamp with the image” of Ramachandran, she said.