Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will inaugurate the memorial in honour of legendary Tamil thespian Sivaji Ganesan on October one coinciding with his birth anniversary, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said.
Earlier the government had announced that Information and Publicity Minister 'Kadambur' C Raju would inaugurate the memorial following which the Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Samooga Nala Peravai, a social welfare body run by the actor's fans, said it should be done by the chief minister.
Palaniswami not declaring open the memorial would mean disrespecting the late actor, it had said. In a statement here, Palaniswami said though he desired to inaugurate the memorial following a request made by the actor's family, he would not be able to do so as he would be out of town to take part in other functions that he had already agreed to attend.
He said he had issued orders that the memorial would be inaugurated on October one coinciding with the actor's birth anniversary. "Though I was eager to inaugurate the memorial on my own, I will not be able do so as I will be out of town to take part in other functions that I have already accepted. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will inaugurate the memorial on October one..," Palaniswami said.
Fisheries minister D Jayakumar will preside over the function along with the Information and Publicity minister, he said. The 28,300 sq ft memorial has been built by the Public Works Department at a cost of Rs 2.80 crore at Adyar in the Dravidian style of architecture.
In 2015, then chief minister Jayalalithaa had announced in the Assembly that a memorial will be built honouring Sivaji Ganesan, who ruled the Tamil film world since 1950s. A winner of the coveted Dada Saheb Phalke award, Ganesan had acted in over 300 films most of which were big hits. He passed away on July 21, 2001.
A bronze statue of the actor, removed from Kamarajar Salai abutting the Marina Beach following a court directive, will be unveiled at the memorial on October 1. Palaniswami said he always had special regard for the thespian. "There cannot be any second opinion that there is no one to match his acting skills, which are praised the world over," the chief minister said.
Palaniswami also referred to Jayalalithaa praising the actor in the Assembly. The chief minister said he had issued orders to the Information and Public Welfare departments, to jointly take up the preparatory works for the inauguration of the memorial.
Meanwhile, Sivaji Ganesan's second son and actor, Prabhu, thanked Palaniswami for making arrangements for conducting the inauguration of the memorial. "Prabhu thanked the chief minister over telephone for making the announcement on the inauguration," an official release said.