Praising party leaders by erecting hoardings and billboards is nothing new in Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is often showered with such praises by her cadres. But this time around, the praise went a bit overboard when an AIADMK MLA on the floor of the Assembly said Hillary Clinton’s candidature for the US Presidential elections became possible only because of Jayalalithaa.
A. Ramu, AIADMK’s Coonoor MLA, during the budget debate, said it was his party supremo who inspired Clinton to contest in America’s Presidential elections. "In America’s Presidential election, for the first time, a woman candidate is contesting, and sole reason for that is Amma (Jayalalithaa)," Ramu claimed.
"Today, the world is celebrating this meeting for its historical importance. Through this meeting, Hillary Clinton understood Amma’s personality and was awe-struck by her proficiency in English and her encouragement. Finally, accepting the assuring words of respected Amma, an overwhelmed US Secretary of State went back to become the presidential candidate. I would like to record that the reason for this is respected Amma," Ramu said.
He was referring to the meeting between Jayalalithaa and Clinton, when she was the US Secretary of State and had visited Chennai. The meeting happened in July 2011. Neither Clinton nor Jayalalithaa said anything about it after that. Ramu’s comments reportedly met with applause from AIADMK MLAs.
A week ago, DMK MLAs referred to her as honourable Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. But Speaker P. Dhanapal came out with a rule that no one has the right to mention her name inside the Assembly and that she ought to be called 'honourable chief minister'. However, the MLAs are allowed to call DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and M.K. Stalin by name.