Insiders say he is preparing for party polls and will be making leadership changes in other states as well.
KUALA LUMPUR: G Palanivel’s recent takeover of the Perak MIC chairmanship is part of a larger plan to strengthen his position as he prepares for party elections due next year, party insiders have told FMT.
They said the party president would move next to Kedah, where he might make sweeping changes in the MIC leadership there.
Palanivel sent shockwaves across much of the MIC membership last Monday, when he took over the Perak job from S Veerasingam, a veteran party leader who is well regarded by Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir.
He said the move was to strengthen MIC’s position in the state, but FMT’s sources said it was to tighten his own grip on the party and weaken the faction aligned to former president S Samy Vellu.
One source, a party veteran in Perak, said Palanivel was on a mission to “snatch” Perak from the former president’s men and would be moving to other states to ensure the dominance of his own supporters.
It is widely believed that deputy president Dr S Subramaniam will challenge him for the top party post next year.
The party veteran said Palanivel’s move to place his men in strategic positions began last year in Negri Sembilan, when he appointed T Rajagopalu as state party chief in place of VS Mohan. Mohan, a strong supporter of Samy Vellu, was moved to party headquarters as information chief.
Rajagopalu was once also a Samy Vellu man, but later switched his allegiance to Palanivel.
“After Negri Sembilan, it is now Perak’s turn,” said the veteran. “And it will continue in Kedah, Pahang and Malacca.”
Currently, the top party posts in Kedah, Pahang and Malacca are held respectively by S Ananthan, M Davendran and R Perumal. None of FMT’s sources would speculate whom Palanivel would replace them with.
Ganesan in the picture
The party veteran also claimed that Palanivel had already secured a pact with the party chiefs in Penang and Johor.
Asked who would eventually assume the chairmanship in Perak, he said Palanivel would likely choose State Legislative Assembly speaker R Ganesan. However, he added, 18 division chiefs had signed a letter urging the party president not to appoint Ganesan as state chairman.
“The letter was sent to the president about two weeks ago.”
He also said Ganesan, who had been eyeing the Tapah parliamentary seat for the coming election, had been told he would be fielded for the Hutan Melintang state seat.
“Perhaps, if BN wins in Perak, Ganesan will be appointed as an executive councillor and also state MIC chief.”