Top leader quits MNM; Blames lack of democracy in Kamal Haasan's party
Chennai, May 06: Makkal Needhi Maiam Vice President R Mahendran on Thursday resigned from the party, saying "there seemed to be no democracy" in the Kamal Haasan-led organisation but drew a sharp rebuke from the actor-politician who dubbed him a 'traitor.'
Lashing out at Mahendran, Haasan said the former was about to be sacked from the party but expressed joy that "a weed" has weeded itself out from the MNM.
The decision of Mahendran, the party's number two ranked leader, came on a day when MNM announced that seven other senior functionaries have also tendered their "resignation."
Mahendran, who unsuccessfully contested the April 6 Assembly polls from Singanallur constituency in Coimbatore, told reporters he submitted a letter to Haasan, informing him about his resignation from the party post as well as its primary membership.
He blamed a "few advisors" at "the top" over the running of the party and said Haasan's way of steering the party "is not okay." Mahendran said he "felt like there is no democracy."
"Many worked hard with the hope that this will change after polls. So I stayed with him (Haasan) but felt that in the last month or so there was no change in his approach."
He said he came armed with his resignation letter to the party's Executive Committee meeting today, held in the backdrop of the party's debacle in the assembly polls, and handed it over to Haasan.
Meanwhile, the party in an official statement said that besides Mahendran, other seniors including AG Maurya, M Muruganandam, CK Kumaravel and Umadevi "gave their resignation letters." Haasan will soon consider them, it said.
In an internal circular, Haasan said in his bid to bring a change to Tamil Nadu, the party had faced its first assembly elections on April 6 and "efficiently worked in a big war."
"We saw that there were traitors along with enemies in the field. There was a unanimous chorus for weeding out traitors. On top of the list was Dr R Mahendran," Haasan said in the circular.
While his party colleague had alleged "there is no democracy" in the party, "he is the biggest example that even democracy will lose at times," the MNM chief added. He accused Mahendran of trying to blame others for his "dishonesty and inefficiency" and gain sympathy.
"He cleverly stepped away understanding that he would be sacked. I am happy like you that a weed has understood it is a weed and has weeded itself out," he said, adding, the party will now see better days.
Haasan claimed he has been transparent in his life and that he had never tried to conceal a mistake and urged his party workers not to lose heart. "We are never bothered about the cowards who run away during a defeat. There shall be no slightest deviation from our ideology-driven path," the party founder added.