Plea to display portraits of President, PM in govt. offices

They are absent in most public offices, claims BJP member

A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the State government and the secretary to the Governor to ensure that the portraits of President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are displayed in all State government offices across the State.

R. Jayakkumar, a Bharatiya Janata Party member from Cuddalore, had filed the case on the ground that only the portraits of incumbent Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, former Chief Ministers and others were displayed in government offices and those of the President and the Prime Minister were neglected.

He said that a Government Order issued way back in 1978 lists out the portraits that could be displayed in public offices and buildings and they include the portraits of the President and Prime Minister apart from those of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Tiruvalluvar, C.N. Annadurai, C. Rajagopalachari and Thanthai Periyar.

Subsequently, another G.O. was issued in 1990 including the portraits of B.R. Ambedkar in the list and a 2006 G.O. added Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, V.O. Chidambaranar, Quaid-e-Millath, Indira Gandhi, former Chief Ministers, incumbent Chief Minister and Tamil Annai to the list of personalities whose portraits could be displayed.

However, in practice, the portraits of the President and Prime Minister were absent in most of the public offices and buildings, the petitioner complained.

Minimum obligation

Stating that States could not function without the assistance of the Centre in a federal structure, the petitioner claimed that Tamil Nadu enjoys maximum financial assistance from the Centre and there it must have the minimum obligation to display the portraits of the President and Prime Minister in all public offices and buildings.

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