Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker D. Jayakumar resigned from the post on Saturday. The development comes exactly a month before the diamond jubilee celebration of the Assembly.

Mr. Jayakumar, a four-time MLA from the Royapuram constituency in Chennai, became Speaker after the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government assumed office in May 2011.

A communication issued by Assembly Secretary A.M.P. Jamaludeen stated that Mr. Jayakumar resigned with effect from the forenoon of Saturday. Deputy Speaker P. Dhanapal would perform the duties of the office of Speaker.

A graduate in law, Mr. Jayakumar became a member of the Assembly for the first time in 1991 and was accommodated in the Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Between 1991 and 1996, he held many portfolios including Fisheries, Forest and Backward Classes.

He was once again elected from Royapuram in the 2001 elections. He became Minister for Law, Information Technology and Electricity. Mr. Jayakumar retained the constituency in the 2006 polls.

Though the reason for Mr. Jayakumar’s resignation was not known yet, a senior leader criticised him for “having indulged in self-promotion” and “encouraging factionalism” in the party. The style in which he celebrated his birthday recently was an illustration of his ways of functioning, the leader said. Efforts to reach Mr. Jayakumar were all in vain.

In the last few days, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who is also the general secretary of the party, made changes in the composition of office-bearers in the party units of north Chennai, the base of Mr. Jayakumar. Many functionaries from Royapuram and R.K. Nagar were expelled from primary membership of the party. The Rajya Sabha member of Parliament N. Balaganga was made district secretary of the North Chennai (South) unit.