Santhosh Babu IAS and Padma Priya leave MNM, cite 'personal reasons'

Sources within the party tell TNM that there was a growing dissent against the manner in which Kamal Haasan has been running the party.
Santhosh Babu IAS and Padma Priya leave MNM, cite 'personal reasons'
Santhosh Babu IAS and Padma Priya leave MNM, cite 'personal reasons'

In yet another blow to the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), two more popular faces have quit the party. Former IAS officer Santhosh Babu and environmental activist D Padma Priya have both announced that they will be quitting the party on Thursday. It was just a week ago that the party dealt with the exit of its Vice President R Mahendran.

Announcing this decision on Twitter, Santosh Babu merely quoted 'personal reasons' for his decision. He had contested from Velachery as a candidate for MNM in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. "Dear friends, good afternoon! It’s with a heavy heart that I am informing you that I am resigning (from) my post and membership from Makkal Needhi Maiam. My decision is due to personal reasons. I thank Kamal Sir and our team for their affection and friendship," he wrote.

Both Santosh Babu and Padma Priya had lost in their respective seats in the Assembly elections. However, sources within the party tell TNM that is only the beginning of a large number of resignations within the party.

According to party members, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, a meeting between the members and MNM chief Kamal Haasan last week resulted in immense dissatisfaction and lack of faith in the actor-politician.

"Some of the members asked for more transparency and accountability regarding the financial transaction made for the elections but didn't receive any clear information. This was not acceptable," says a party leader. "In addition to this, we feel that he did not campaign for the entire state and merely did it for his own constituency (Coimbatore South). Followers will not see such a leader as credible. More prominent faces have submitted their resignations already and they will be leaving through this week and the next," adds the party leader.

Last week, the party vice president Mahendran had quit and blamed 'outside forces' for manipulating Kamal Haasan. He had questioned the roping in of Sankhya Solutions to handle MNM's campaign and said that the party's defeat in the elections was a direct result of the consultancy's lack of effort and planning. In turn, Kamal had written a scathing letter, calling Mahendran a 'betrayer' and alleging that he had not allowed others in the party to grow.

However, the continuing resignations from top leaders in the party reveal a sense of discomfort and dissatisfaction with the manner in which the party is functioning. 

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