Kumaravel told TNM that Kamal Haasan disappointed them as he made it clear that MNM is a leader-based party and not a cadre-based party.

CK Kumaravel and Kamal HaasanFacebook
news Politics Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 11:53

The exodus from Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) continues as the party’s senior leader and entrepreneur CK Kumaravel announced on Thursday that he is quitting from the party’s primary membership. In an open letter to Kamal, Kumaravel pointed out that there is a lot of anger and disillusionment 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 in Tamil Nadu.

In his letter, Kumaravel said that he had the fortune to enjoy and experience the upward climb the party enjoyed in November - December 2020 after the party’s activities and Kamal Haasan’s whirlwind campaigning. “Following that, when we got the torchlight symbol for ourselves and when Rajinikanth announced that he will not be entering politics, my faith and expectations from Makkal Needhi Maiam increased,” he wrote. Adding that the party has lost the opportunities that presented themselves, Kumaravel asked, “Despite having all the qualities necessary to become the opposition party in Tamil Nadu, why couldn’t we win even in a single constituency?”.

Pinning the blame on Kamal Haasan’s political advisors and their alleged focus on the Coimbatore South Assembly constituency from where Kamal contested, Kumaravel went on to say that it is their thought process of ‘winning in one constituency is enough’ that shattered the faith and expectations that people had for the party.

“People who quit before me have submitted the reasons behind our defeat to you and to the media. You also know that there is truth in the reasons they submitted. There is nothing new that I want to add. It gives me great anger and angst that we, who should have been history-makers, have been reduced to merely read history. I wish to travel on a path that has secular democratic politics at its core rather than being in a path of persona-driven politics,” he added.

Kumaravel told TNM that Kamal disappointed them as he made it clear that MNM is a leader-based party and not a cadre-based party. “It was all about him and him winning Coimbatore South. All the eggs were placed in one basket and the basket broke. We may have contested in all seats but focused on one. This was to such an extent that we even allowed Seeman to garner three times more votes than us. Kamal Haasan thinks his winning the Coimbatore South seat is more important than the party winning. I’m not against Seeman, I’m only saying we lost the opportunity,” he said.

MNM, which had tied up with Sarath Kumar’s AISMK and TR Parivendhar’s IJK for the Assembly elections, failed to win a single seat. Kamal lost to BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan in the Coimbatore South constituency, while MNM’s overall vote share was reduced to 2.52%.

When asked if MNM leaders realised all these flaws in Kamal and the party only now and why they had not flagged it earlier, Kumaravel said that he had given his critical feedback to Kamal many times. “Closer to elections, he started changing. Became more autocratic, closed to suggestions. People would be standing behind his chair, the party became a one-hero party,” he said.

He also criticised Kamal’s decision to engage Sankhya Solutions run by former mediaperson Suresh Iyer. “He thought it was like engaging another Prasanth Kishor. But if you have a heart problem, you need to go to a cardiologist, not a dentist.”

Kumarvel’s exit comes on the back of several other prominent faces from the MNM, including former IAS officer Santhosh Babu, party vice president Mahendran, YouTuber Padma Priya, and former scientific advisor to late President APJ Abdul Kalam V Ponraj, quitting the party. Office bearers like AG Mourya, M Muruganandam, Thangavel, Umadevi and Suresh Iyer also resigned from the party following its rout in the elections.

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