"He claims there is no democracy in the party. He is the biggest example for the fact that democracy sometimes fails. He has lied to take the faces of the people who gave him the identity", said actor-turned-politician and chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) Kamal Hassan.
Hassan was reacting to the party Vice President R Mahendran's resignation and blaming him for MNM's loss in the just concluded Tamil Nadu assembly elections.
"Remove the betrayers resonated the unanimous voice of the party. Dr Mahendran was on top of that list,” said Hassan, adding that the party had "traitors" within because of which they lost.
"He tried to pre-empt his removal by resigning. Just like you, I am happy about the fact that a weed removed itself. It will be ascendancy for our party henceforth,” he said.
“He is trying to gain pity by blaming others for the failure, his lack of talent and dedication. Knowing very well that he will be removed from the party, he shrewdly made this move. I do not even need to console our party cadre for this failure because their resilience is very well known. Running away at the time of a failure shows that one is a coward and we don’t need to discuss this,” he added.
Blaming actor Kamal Haasan for his ‘undemocratic handling of the party,’ R Mahendran had tendered his resignation from the party on Thursday.
The announcement comes just days after the party performed poorly in the Tamil Nadu Assembly election.
Mahendran, who contested from the Singanallur constituency detailed the reasons for his decision in his letter to the party cadre: “Even after the massive defeat of the party and his (Kamal) own defeat (in Coimbatore South), I am not seeing any change in the leader’s approach and I am not confident that he will change.”
‘Kamal’s Mishandling of MNM Led to Party’s Failure’
In his letter, Mahendran admitted that it was Haasan who inspired him to enter politics and wished that the party chief "regains and retains" the leadership qualities he once displayed.
He said he decided to resign as he lost all hope for "any semblance of change in how the party is being run."
Mahendran pointed out that Haasan’s decision to not partner with the Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) and instead with the Sankhya team for the election campaigning was wrong as they did ‘not know to enhance or understand Brand Kamal, leave alone MNM’s prospects.”
"“The result of the Assembly Election 2021 is a direct outcome of the events propelled by Sankhya and your advisor’s collective manipulation within the party and the abject mishandling of your brand/image outside of it.”" - Dr Mahendran, Vice President, Makkal Needhi Maiam
Political analysts said that the discontent in the party has been brewing for a while, especially when over 100 seats was given to actor Sarath Kumar’s All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi and Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi.
"“This move not only tremendously damaged the image of MNM in people’s eyes but also shattered the morale of the party cadre...(..) Worser still, we were conducting interviews for the very seats that were given away to the alliance parties. Is this even fair to those who came in trusting they will get a fair chance to represent MNM and you?”" - Dr Mahendran, Vice President, Makkal Needhi Maiam
Slew of Resignations
Several key leaders such as V Ponraj, Former President APJ Adbul Kalam’s scientific advisor, who joined the party on 3 March, have quit the party.
Party general secretaries A G Mourya, Umadevi, C K Kumaravel and M Muruganandam and election strategist Suresh Iyer have also submitted their resignations.
It may be called that party founder member Kameela Nazar had already resigned.
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