Dr Subramaniam may not take over as MIC president in 2016 as Palanivel makes a u-turn on the brokered deal by Najib
In lightning speed, Palanivel makes a u-turn in regards to stepping down in 2016. Now he states that due to overwhelming support from branch chairmen, he may stay longer.
“I want to resign. But, the supporters want me to continue in the party,” he said.
Prior to the nomination day, Palanivel had said that if he manages to secure his position in the coming polls, it will be his last term.
However, Palanivel revisited his plan, thus creating a checkmate situation against his deputy Dr S Subramaniam who is due to take over the party leadership come 2016.
Dr Subramaniam had hinted strongly that he may challenge Palanivel for the MIC’s number one position. Nevertheless Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak intervened between the two and brokered a deal to avoid the clash.
Based on the deal, Dr Subramaniam agreed not to contest for the president’s seat and in return, Palanivel is to pass the baton to him in March 2016, which is six months before Palanivel’s full term.
Fortifying his camp
During the same press conference post nomination, Palanivel also hinted that he may suggest a preference list for his lineup in the coming party election scheduled end November this year.
This indicates clearly that Palanivel has indeed identified his camp members at least for the next three years.
His real concern could be for the candidates vying the vice presidents’ and central working committees’ (CWC) positions. As for his deputy, he pointed that Dr Subramaniam may retain it without contest.
Known as an advocate of ‘silence is golden’, Palanivel may show his true colours in the coming party election; now that MIC is under his full control as party president. He is speculated to bring his men as vice presidents and CWC members to strengthen his grip and steer steady into the next party election due in 2016.
In turn, Dr Subramaniam may well become a sitting duck in the party and may be forced to take a back seat.
Palanivel won the first round by delaying a possible tussle for power in MIC with the assistance of Najib. Nevertheless he has three years to go.
Palanivel retained his position as the MIC president over the weekend unopposed. The Natural Resources and Environmental minister was nominated by a total of 3,702 branch chairmen.