THE MDMK led by Vaiko suffered yet another jolt as its Legislature party’s leader and a senior functionary, M Kannappan resigned both from the primary membership of the party and his Tamil Nadu Assembly seat.
“I am sending in my resignation letters both to the MDMK and to the Assembly Speaker today,” Kannappan, a staunch supporter of Vaiko since the party’s formative days in late 1993 (since Vaiko was expelled by the DMK over his pro-LTTE stance)told reporters. He was till-now the MDMK’s Presidium Chairman, a post above that of the General Secretary.
According to MDMK sources, Kannappan fell out with Vaiko after the former called on the DMK President and Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi at a private hospital near Chennai recently where the latter underwent a spinal surgery, “without informing Vaiko”.
The MDMK Chief was greatly upset with this sudden development when his party’s seat-sharing talks with its ally, the AIADMK, for the coming Lok Sabha polls, sources told HT in Chennai. From then it was a “cold war” between the top two leaders and finally Kannappan decided to quit the party late last evening. A patch-up effort last week-end did not help though.
With Kannappan, a former Union Minister in the Vajpayee-led NDA Ministry also resigned, further reducing the party's strength in the State Assembly from five to four MLAs. MDMK had backed the BJP after the 1999 Lok Sabha polls.
The DMK’s Youth Wing leader, M K Stalin called on Kannappan at the latter’s ancestral home at Alampalayam near Pollachi in Coimbatore district late last night when the latter assured him that he “was wholeheartedly rejoining the DMK.” Kannappan now is believed to be angling for a Lok Sabha seat from the DMK.