Tirumavalavan quits Assembly membership

CHENNAI, FEB. 3. Thol. Tirumavalavan, Dalit Panthers of India general secretary, today resigned his Assembly membership, protesting against the ``humiliating treatment meted out to him and Dalit outfits by other political parties in the State, especially the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).''

The parties, he said, were exploiting the Dalit outfits for their own interests and never allowed them to come up the political ladder. No party was an exception, he told newsmen here.

Mr.Tirumavalavan, who was elected from Mangalore (reserved) in Cuddalore district, with DMK support, came down heavily on the party president, M. Karunanidhi, for his ``ungrateful attitude'' to the DPI, which stood by him during his days of crisis. While refusing to accommodate his party and the Puthiya Tamizhagam led by K. Krishnasamy, in the Democratic Progressive Alliance, Mr. Karunanidhi ``gifted away'' seats to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) which, ``never hesitated to change sides for political gains.'' Adding insult to injury, Mr. Tirumavalavan said, Mr. Karunanidhi branded the DPI and the PT casteist parties. ``Is this the reward for our being loyal to the DMK?''

Mr. Karunanidhi's argument that there were Dalits in his party would not hold water as they were never allowed to espouse the cause of the ``suppressed people'' and were being treated as ``bonded labourers'', said the DPI leader.

Not only the DMK, the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Congress and communist parties never recognised the Dalit parties. They never hesitated to woo the Dalit parties' when they had no alternative but ditched them the moment they were in a position of strength. They aligned with the Dalit parties only out of compulsion and not in the interests of Dalits, he said.

Mr. Tirumavalavan said that as he was elected with the support of the DMK, he decided to resign the seat.

Later, he drove to the Assembly and handed over the resignation to the Speaker, K. Kalimuthu. The Speaker told newsmen later that he would take a decision as per procedure.

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