Kuala Lumpur – Some MIC delegates converging on Sunday (16 October 2016) at the Putra World Trade Centre for the annual General Assembly are hoping an unexpected guest would appear, thereby, ending his two-year internal feud within MIC. He is none other than Datuk S.Sothinathan, who had been leading former MIC President Datuk Seri G. Palanivel’s faction for the last 2 years.
The expectation comes in the awake of his reported statement yesterday in the Tamil daily “Makkal Osai”, where he confirmed that the on-going negotiations with the Party President Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam were successfully concluded paving the way for majority of branches within Palanivel’s faction to return to MIC again.
Sothinathan also clarified that his negotiations to return to the party were for the sake of party unity and not for personal gains or positions.
In another development, Sothinathan, a former Deputy Minister, also defended his stand for not executing a ‘black and white’ document in writing to outline the terms of peace settlement with Dr Subra.
“This is politics and we are gentlemen leaders. We will honour our pledges and promises. There is no need for a formal agreement in writing. What is important is that the talks have been concluded amicably and we have reached a settlement” Sothinathan reportedly said in an interview with an online news portal.
Sothinathan was heavily criticised by some of his comrades for not disclosing full details of the negotiations with Dr Subra and for failing to extract a written settlement from him on the terms and conditions for the branches to return back to the party.
All his statements put together, have raised hopes that he will appear at the MIC General Assembly tomorrow (Sunday) along with some of his supporters to re-affirm his commitment to the party. The Assembly will be officially opened by Prime Minister Najib as Barisan Nasional, and therefore this will be an added reason for Sothinathan to attend, to show Najib he is following and fulfilling the Prime Minister’s advice.
A source close to Sothinathan said “there have been no discussions on his attendance tomorrow at the MIC general assembly but there is a possibility, that he will attend”.
One source from MIC Headquarters pointed out: “Even if Sothinathan doesn’t turn up tomorrow for the assembly it is OK. He can choose another day to formally return to the party. But his announcements and press interviews were timely in that all the speculations surrounding his return to the party have come to end just two days before the party’s national conventions of delegates. It is also timely because Palanivel faction’s remaining leaders are holding their own “National General Assembly” today (Saturday) in Kuala Lumpur and Sothinathan’s absence in that meeting will be a major set-back for the faction”.
A source close to Palanivel faction said, in the absence of Sothinathan, they are now re-grouping themselves under the leadership of Tan Sri S.Balakrishnan (pic) from Johor and their gathering today will be an indicator whether the group still remains intact and formidable. However, it is clear that almost 50 to 70% of the branches still with Palanivel’s faction have decided to follow Sothinathan and this is seen as a major disaster for the group.
Sources close to Palanivel’s faction said they have decided to give an amicable ‘send-off’ to Sothinathan without further making it an issue out of respect for his involvement in the faction for the last two years.
Meanwhile, sources also said, MIC’s leadership is still pursuing negotiations with other key leaders of Palanivel’ faction to put end an end to the internal feud once and for all.
Speculations are rife that some key leaders from Palanivel’s faction are in discussion with MIC’s leadership on their own, in the awake of Sothinathan’s departure, and soon there could be more revelations on this negotiations.