24/02/2017 3:12 PM IST | Updated 24/02/2017 3:20 PM IST

Jayalalithaa's Birth Anniversary: Tamil Nadu Celebrates Amma's Legacy With Gusto

"After having celebrated Amma's birthday with her for the last 33 years, I feel lonely now," VK Sasikala

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CHENNAI -- Despite the current political turbulence in the state, there is no let-up in zeal and extravagance when it comes to celebrating the birthday of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa's 69th birthday is being celebrated today by paying rich tributes by organising feasts and distributing welfare aid to the poor, besides keeping her portraits decked with flowers for the public to pay homage.

A statement released by AIADMK said party presidium chairman KA Sengottaiyan will lead the birth anniversary celebration of Jayalalithaa.

"He will also release a souvenir on the occasion, the statement said.The party asked cadres to pay rich tributes to Jayalalithaa by organising feasts and distributing welfare aid to the poor, besides keeping her portraits decked with flowers for the public to pay homage.

"Huge posters, life-size cutouts, new welfare projects, elaborate functions and display of loyalty by the cadres of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have always marked 24 February, the birthday of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister," it added.

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Recalling her efforts in uniting the party following the death of its founder MG Ramachandran, the AIADMK said, "Amma, who was instrumental for such growth of the party, is not among us today, but her guidance will be steering us."

The party will also organise a series of public meetings from February 24 to 28 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa. AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, Palanisamy and Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai will be among those addressing the meetings to be held across the state.

Also, the faction led by Panneerselvam issued a statement saying the party flag would be hoisted across the state and free food would be provided to the poor.

After more than a week in jail, VK Sasikala said she was missing Jayalalithaa on her birth anniversary. The AIADMK chief, who is in jail on an disproportionate assets case, had been a longtime live-in aide of the former Chief Minister. The two had even been in the same jail for a few weeks in the same case in 2014. Recalling the "love, compassion and hard work" of Ms Jayalalithaa, who died in December after an illness, Ms Sasikala said, "That Amma is not with us makes me more sad".

After having celebrated her birthday with her for the past 33 years, I feel lonely this year in her memories. My thoughts revolve around her.VK Sasikala

TN Chief Minister K Palanisamy planted a sapling to mark Jayalalithaa's birth anniversary. The sapling was planed at the Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital.

According to an official statement, the state has initiated a programme of planting 69 lakh saplings across Tamil Nadu at a cost of ₹65.85 crore.

(With inputs from IANS)

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