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Palani challenger claims to have support within MIC

 | June 4, 2012

Sacked MIC man Rajen says that he had received backing from many in the party over his decision to contest against Palanivel in the next GE.

UPDATED

PETALING JAYA: A former MIC leader who has decided to contest against MIC president G Palanivel in the next general election today said that he received wide support from the party for his move.

VT Rajen was sacked from the party by Palanivel for criticising the party leadership. Last Saturday, he announced that he would take on Palanivel at any seat the latter was contesting in the general election.

Todate, Palanivel has not announced if he would contest, let alone naming a seat for himself.

Speaking to FMT today, Rajen said that following his announcement on Saturday, he received support from even MIC’s central working committee members – the highest decision-making body in the party.

“Almost a quarter of the CWC members have said that they back my move to challenge Palanivel,” he claimed. He added that he also had blessings from several top party leaders.

Rajen’s claim indicates a deep leadership problem in MIC with several leaders sharpening their knives against the president at his back.

“Since my announcement, I have been receiving numerous phone calls from MIC leaders who had agreed to support me covertly.

“I have also received support from many MIC members. It looks like many in the party are frustrated with Palanivel,” he said.

Rajen also pointed out Palanivel does not have the mandate to be the party president as he was appointed to the post following the retirement of S Samy Vellu in December 2010.

“As such, he is an illegal president as he was not elected by the members,” said Rajen.

He added that Palanivel’s weak leadership could cause loss of votes for MIC in the polls.

Rajen was sacked in March after he criticised Palanivel for allegedly attempting to convince Cameron Highlands Umno leaders to back him (Palanivel) to contest in the seat in the coming general election, and in the process sabotaging the chances of incumbent MP and MIC vice-president SK Devamany to retain the seat.

Vice-president hits out at cheap tactic

In an immediate reaction, MIC vice president M Saravanan rubbished Rajen’s claim, saying that the party leaders were solidly behind Palanivel.

“This is a cheap tactic by Rajen to create a rift in MIC. Speaking on behalf of the central working committee, I can safely say that we stand firmly behind Palanivel,” he told FMT.

“The central working committee has mandated Palanivel to lead the party and to select candidates for the general election. He has the unanimous support of all leaders in MIC,” Saravanan added.

He said that the party was working hard for the upcoming general election and was confident of doing well.

He also said the party was not concerned as to where Rajen wanted to contest and urged him to stop making claims that would cause a rift in the party.

“As far as I am concerned, Rajen is a sacked MIC man. If he wants to contest against Palanivel, or even against the prime minister, that’s his choice.

“However he should not make ridiculous claims of having the support from within the MIC for that,” said Saravanan, who is also the federal territories and urban wellbeing deputy minister.


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