Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) continues to face departures of his trusted aides more than a fortnight after the results of the 234-member Assembly polls were declared in which MNM drew a blank. The latest to exit was C K Kumaravel, who shut the door on his party chief with a terse: “No hero worship.”
CK Kumaravel, an entrepreneur, said that there had been lot of anger against the MNM chief and that the party could have been history-makers instead of being reduced to the sidelines after the 2021 Assembly poll debacle. He blamed the party’s strategy team for wrong guidance, becoming the sixth party leader to do so in owning the poll defeat.
“No hero worship, I want to journey through secular democratic politics. We were to make history, but we are reading history,” Kumaravel said in a message to Kamal Haasan, who also lost in his own constituency, Coimbatore South.
MNM vice-president R Mahendran and general secretary Santosh Babu too have quit. Environmental activist Padma Priya, fielded in Chennai, too quit recently, citing personal reasons. On May 19, party general secretary M Muruganandam resigned citing “lack of democracy and honesty” in his resignation letter posted on Twitter.
Muruganandam recalled he had joined the party to do public work in “honest and independent manner”. “But with no conducive situation, I am quitting all party positions as well as the primary membership,” he said, blaming MNM’s alliance with “weak parties” for the April 6 polls. Kamal Haasan had been misled, he said and blamed “unilateralism and autocracy” within the party.
The MNM chief has spoken bitterly on the exit of Dr Mahendran. “Remove the betrayers resonated the unanimous voice of the party. Dr Mahendran was on top of that list,” the veteran actor said. “Just like you, I am happy about the fact that a weed has removed itself. It will be ascendancy for our party henceforth,” said Haasan. The actor said Dr Mahendran was a failure as he lacked talent and dedication.
The MNM had contested 154 seats and kept 80 sets for its allies, Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) and Indhiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK).