KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 – MIC, the largest Indian based political party in the country, has handed the list of its general election candidates to Prime Minister and BN chief Najib Tun Razak.
With the 13th general election weeks away, sources revealed that MIC president G Palanivel has handed the list of MIC candidates for the nine parliamentary and 19 state seats allocated for the party under the Barisan Nasional’s seat sharing policy.
However, sources said Palanivel had tweaked the list, contradicting his earlier statement that 60% of MIC candidates would be fresh faces.
“For the parliament seat, you can only see two new faces. Also, both the Youth and Wanita wings will not be allocated parliamentary seats,” said the source.
Traditionally, both the Youth and Wanita wings are given a parliamentary seat respectively to contest.
The party’s nine parliamentary seats are Tapah, Sungai Siput (both in Perak), Cameron Highlands (Pahang), Teluk Kemang (Negeri Sembilan), Kota Raja, Kapar, Subang, Hulu Selangor (Selangor) and Segamat (Johor).
MIC had a dismal run at the 2008 general election winning only three out of the nine parliamentary seats it contested. Even the then party supremo S Samy Vellu was knocked out at the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency.
Palanivel, too, lost the Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency with a slim 198 vote majority but the party regained the seat in a April 2010 by-election through MIC central working committee member P Kamalanathan.
BN’s reason for dropping Palanivel then was because it wanted a “winnable candidate” for the by-election.
Palani in Cameron Highlands
According to the list of candidates submitted to the prime minister, sources claimed, Palanivel would be contesting the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat. The seat is currently held by MIC vice-president SK Devamany.
Devamany, meanwhile, is slated to contest in Sungai Siput.
MIC deputy president S Subramaniam (Segamat, Johor), vice-president M Saravanan (Tapah, Perak) and Kamalanathan (Hulu Selangor) will be defending their respective parliamentary constituencies.
MIC secretary-general S Murugesan, who lost the tussle for the Subang parliamentary seat in 2008, is slotted to contest the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency in Negeri Sembilan.
“This is despite former Teluk Kemang MP S Sothinathan working very hard on the ground. The top leadership has decided to parachute-in Murugesan for Teluk Kemang,” a party insider said.
A surprise inclusion in the party list of parliamentary candidates is former youth chief SA Vickneswaran, who is will be fighting for the Kota Raja seat in Selangor.
Vickneswaran lost the Kota Raja seat at the last election by 20,000 vote majority to a PAS candidate.
However party sources revealed that Vickneswaran was reluctant to contest the seat.
“There might be some last minute changes in Kota Raja. A new candidate can come in but the seat itself is a tough one,” said the MIC insider.
Among the “reserves” put up by Palanivel in his list of MIC parliamentary candidates are Puchong division chief S Sakthivel and Prakash Rao, the Shah Alam division committee member.
“There is no place for Wanita and Youth leaders in the parliamentary candidates list. With all this, we are certain that Palanivel will suffer internal sabotage once he introduces the candidates.
“He had promised seats to many people, now they will definitely retaliate,” said the source.