A video clip of two Dravida Munnetra Kazagam men removing and throwing away two flex boards embossed with the name and picture of 'Amma' from a state-run canteen in Chennai went viral on Tuesday and they were expelled from the party.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Pattali Makkal Katchi condemned the vandalism and sought tough action against those responsible.
The party filed a police complaint against them and the duo was arrested, DMK leader and former Mayor of Chennai, Ma Subramanian told reporters.
The boards were placed again in the same spots in the canteen and the two men have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, he said.
'Amma' is a popular moniker of late chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and low cost 'Amma Canteens' are run by civic bodies in Tamil Nadu.
The flex type boards had Tamil words announcing 'Amma Canteen,' in addition to information on food that was being served in the eatery.
Subramanian said party chief M K Stalin ordered the expulsion of the two men from the party, filing a police complaint against them and putting the boards back in the same place.
"They don't hold any posts in the party. They were ordinary members and have been expelled. Party mouthpiece Murasoli will carry the news on their expulsion in tomorrow's edition," Subaramanian said.
The video, apparently shot on a mobile phone by unknown people also showed women, who appeared to be workers quietly standing and witnessing the vandalism.
The clip that went viral on social media was also posted by the AIADMK on its Twitter handle.
The AIADMK also shared photographs that showed a framed picture of Jayalalithaa lying on the floor, vegetables and some utensils strewn around the canteen kitchen.
In another picture, two policemen were seen assessing the scene of vandalism while workers looked on.
A video clip of a board being positioned again from where it was removed in the canteen is also being widely shared by the DMK men.
The AIADMK, in a statement, alleged that violence and political incivility of people belonging to the DMK has started to rear its head again and it is condemnable.
'The attack on Amma Canteen cannot be accepted,' party top leaders O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami said, adding the low cost eatery chain was launched by late 'Amma' Jayalalithaa to ensure that no one suffered due to hunger.
During heavy rains, deluge and the present COVID-19 pandemic too, the Amma Canteens have done yeoman service to people and damaging the picture of Amma caused anguish, they said and condemned it.
The top leaders wanted Stalin to ensure stringent action against those who cause a disruption of law and order.
PMK founder S Ramadoss condemned the vandalism and sought tough action against those responsible for it.
He said the people would not pardon such acts.