Makkal Needhi Maiam Vice President R Mahendran on Thursday quit the party, days after the Kamal Haasan-led outfit failed to win a single seat in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Soon after Mahendran, announced his decision, Haasan called him a “traitor”, adding that the party’s second in-command was about to be sacked anyway.

In an eight-page long resignation letter, Mahendran accused Haasan of running the party in a “non-democratic” manner. Mahendran wrote about Haasan’s decision to hire the services of an agency named “Sankhya Solutions” to handle the party’s election campaign. He said that hiring the agency was a “financial burden with no tangible returns”.

He added that Haasan’s decision of giving away 100 of the 234 seats to allies, spoiled the party’s prospects in the state elections and demoralised the cadre. Haasan’s party had allied with two regional parties, All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi and Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi, in the elections.

Responding to Mahendran’s resignation and allegations, Haasan expressed joy that “a weed has weeded itself out” from the party.

“We witnessed the fact that we faced not just opponents from the other side [in the election] but also betrayers from our side,” Hassan said, in a statement. “ ‘Remove the betrayers’ resonated the unanimous voice of the party. Dr Mahendran was on top of that list.”

Responding to Mahendran’s allegation of lack of democracy in his style of functioning, Haasan said, “He [Mahendran] is the biggest example for the fact that democracy sometimes fails.”

In the Assembly elections, Mahendran who contested the Singanallur constituency, came third behind the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidates. Mahendran could garner only 18% of the votes. Meanwhile, Haasan lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vanathi Srinivasan by a small margin of less than 2,000 votes in the Coimbatore (South) seat.