Tamil Nadu: Jayalalithaa announces memorial for actor Sivaji Ganesan

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announced that a memorial will be built here honouring legendary actor late Sivaji Ganesan.

Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalitha

Making a suo moto statement in the assembly, she said on September 26, 2002, she had ordered conveyance of 65 cents of land owned by Public Works Department in Adyar to South Indian Film Artists Association for constructing a memorial for Sivaji Ganesan following requests.

The land was handed over to the association and since a road leading to judges’ quarters was situated amid the land, the government asked the association to give Rs 4.20 lakh for laying a separate road.

The association said it could give only Rs 2 lakh and remitted it on July 26, 2004 and the remaining Rs 2.20 lakh was borne by the government. A compound wall around the land given for building the memorial was built on February 13, 2006.

“Since the association said that it would by itself build the memorial, steps were not taken at that time for constructing it by the government,” she said, adding, “had the association asked the government to build it, I would have given the order then itself.”

“So far, the memorial has not been constructed by the association in the land allotted for the purpose and several sections of people and political parties have appealed that the government should build the memorial,” she said.

Hence, she said, “I am very happy to announce that the memorial will be constructed by the Tamil Nadu government in the land allotted to South Indian Film Artists Association for the memorial.”

Legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan, in a career spanning over four decades, had captivated Tamil movie-goers by his brilliant on-screen skills in over 300 films. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 72.

When Vijayadharani (Cong) said that Sivaji Ganesan was once affiliated to her party, Jayalalithaa intervened and said that the late actor should not be confined to a small circle. He belonged to the country and the world, she said.

Welcoming the announcement, Speaker P Dhanapal thanked the Chief Minister on behalf of the House.

Responding to Vijayadharanai, Finance Minister and Leader of the House O Panneerselvam said, “he (Sivaji) left your party (Cong) after deciding not to have any ties with it and he founded a new party.”