Senior DMDK leader and deputy general secretary of the party S. Austin, who has quit the party, said he was completely sidelined and could not play any constructive role in the organisation.
His resignation has come at a time the party is celebrating the birthday of its founder Vijayakant.
“There is no point in continuing in the party when the party leadership views my activities with suspicion. Despite my repeated clarifications, the party leadership feel that I am inching towards the ruling AIADMK. I cannot commit self-immolation to prove my loyalty,” said Mr Austin, who submitted his resignation on Friday.
Mr Austin, one of the senior leaders of the DMDK since its inception and used as a trouble-shooter in the party organisation by party leader Vijayakant, said things went smooth for him till the by-election to the Sankarankoil by-election two years ago.
“After that, Mr Vijayakant asked me not to involve myself in party affairs in Kanyakumari district, my home turf. He also had advised the local leaders not to invite me for any function,” he told The Hindu.
Mr Austin then shifted his base to Chennai and functioned from the headquarters. Here also he was not assigned any work.
“I told Mr Vijayakant to give me work and I could not remain idle. But he did not respond positively. I decided to quit the party when he appointed Mr Jagannathan as the secretary of the Kanyakumari (East), who was removed from the party for anti-party activities,” said Mr Austin, who began his political career with the AIADMK as a panchayat president and went on to become the district secretary. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha on an AIADMK ticket, but quit the party along with Su. Thirunavukarasar. He became an MLA and came back to the AIADMK after Mr Thirunavukarasar joined the BJP.
“But I was not given a seat in the 2006 Assembly elections. I contested as an independent and secured second position. Despite invitation from other political parties, I joined DMDK since I thought a new party would give adequate space for my aggressive functioning. Of course I was utilized, but subsequently things changed forever,” he said.
Mr Austin said he has not decided his future course of action.