In what seems to be a small step towards clinching a deal with the O Panneerselvan-led faction of the AIADMK, posters and banners of VK Sasikala were taken down at the party headquarters this morning, ostensibly with the blessing of the CM E Palaniswami-led faction.
The move comes a day after Presidium Chairman (OPS faction) E Madhusudhanan demanded that the banners at the AIADMK office be removed to uphold its "sanctity".
The timing of the move is important since it comes just hours after TTV Dhinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, was arrested by the police in Delhi for attempting to bribe ECI officials to get the two-leave symbol assigned to his faction.
Sasikala, who is jailed in Bengaluru, is the interim GS of the party and her posters had been put up amidst much fanfare in January, as she took over the party following the death of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
(An image of the posters from last week)
On Wednesday morning however, these posters were taken down and at the party headquarters in Chennai and replaced with banners just featuring Jayalalithaa.
The removal of the banners and posters signals a major symbolic change in the party leadership. Sasikala family's hold on the party seems to have loosened finally, and it is the factions led by EPS and OPS which seem to be in control, together now.
This also hints that a merger deal between the two factions is round the corner. But it remains to be seen if this is the end of the Mannargudi family's control over the party.