V. N. Janaki

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Janaki Ramachandran
ஜானகி இராமச்சந்திரன்
MGR and VNJanaki.jpg
Janaki (right) with M. G. Ramachandran, in 1948 film Mohini
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
In office
7 January 1988 - 30 January 1988
Preceded by V.R. Nedunchezhiyan
Succeeded by President's rule
Constituency Andipatti
Personal details
Born 30 November[citation needed] 1923
Vaikom in Kottayam, Travancore, British Raj
Died 19 May 1996(1996-05-19) (aged 72)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Political party AIADMK
Spouse(s) Ganapati Bhatt (1939-1961) (divorced)
M. G. Ramachandran
(1963-1987) (till his death)
Children Surendran
Occupation Actress, Politician

Janaki Ramachandran (30 November 1923[citation needed] – 19 May 1996), commonly known as V. N. Janaki, was an Tamil actress and politician. She was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for 23 days from 7th january 1988 to 30th of same month, when her cabinet and state assembly were collectivly dissolved by central government for law and order failure.

Early life[edit]

She was born to Narayani Amma in Tamil family in the town of Vaikom, Kottayam in Travancore. She had a brother P. Narayanan who was an educationalist. Her father's younger brother was Papanasam Sivan. Janaki was a successful actress in late 1940s and starred in more than 25 movies including Mohini, Raja Mukthi, Velaikaari, Aiyiram Thalaivangiya Aboorva Chintamani, Devaki and Marudhanaattu Ilavarasi. M. G. Ramachandran had written in his autobiography that in late 1940s and in 1950, Janaki was earning double the income he received as an actor.

Personal life[edit]

Janaki married twice. Her first husband was Ganapathy Bhatt whom she married in 1939. The couple had one son called Surendran, who currently has the rights to M.G.Ramachandran's autobiography. More than two decades later, in 1963, she married for the second time, to the Tamil cinema actor M. G. Ramachandran. M.G.R and Janaki did not have any children.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1987, when her husband M. G. Ramachandran died, Janaki was asked by party members to take his place. She took his place as the Leader of the AIADMK party, which subsequently split into two factions. Janaki Ramachandran became Chief minister in January 1988 soon after her husband's death, but her government lasted only 24 days, the shortest in the history of Tamil Nadu.[2]

Her ministry went for a sensitive vote of confidence of the Eighth Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in January 1988. This was because AIADMK coalition with 194 MLAs had split into 3 factions, with one faction supporting jayalalitha (30 MLA) and other supporting the new CM janaki (101). The congress party , under the directive of its national chief and then PM Rajiv gandhi, had decided to completely vote neutral. The opposition severely demanded secret singular voting in the assembly, on the day of vote. But the speaker, rejected this. The speaker was a janaki supporter, and had already disqualified 30 MLA of jayalalltha faction, and also 15 MLA of DMK from MLA office, the previous day. He had also decreed that the cabinet must garner support of MLAs, who were physically present in the assembly at the time of vote. So instead of proving majority in 234 with just 101, janaki had to prove majority in 198, which was easily possible. So, the speaker silenced the assembly, and called for vote. The DMK and AIADMK MLAs clashed within assembly, and many were injured bloodily, including the speaker. Without alternative, the speaker requested the CM to protect the house, and as a last measure, the CM called police into the house to quell the riot. Police and goons (disguised as police) clased with each other. In midst of all these problems, the speaker announced unilaterally that the cabinet had won motion of confidence, and then ordered everyone to leave the hall, and he himself left the hall.

But the Central Government under the late Rajiv Gandhi, refused to accept this motion of confidence, and used Article 356 of the Constitution of India to dismiss her government in February the same year. Her party was subsequently defeated in the next elections that were held in 1989. She quit politics after the unification of the two factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam .[3]


She died of a cardiac arrest on 19 May 1996.

After Death[edit]

Janaki Ramachandran gifted her property in Avvai Shanmugham Salai (Lloyds Road) in honour of her husband to the AIADMK. It subsequently became the headquarters of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party in 1986. She also willed her property in Arcot Street in T.Nagar to set up the Dr.MGR Memorial House in 1988.[4] She was the founder chairman of The Satya Educational & Charitable Society managing many free educational institutions in Chennai. She gave property worth many million dollars[5] for the establishment of educational and charitable institutions in Tamil Nadu. She was also instrumental in setting up the Janaki Ramachandran Educational & Charitable Trust.[6] and are her gifts to charity.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
M. G. Ramachandran
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Succeeded by