A veteran grassroots leader has announced that he will contest the MIC deputy president's race at the upcoming party polls in November.
PETALING JAYA: MIC Sungai Siput deputy division chief M Loganathan has thrown a spanner on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s brokered peace deal in the party to ensure the party’s top two positions remain uncontested.
He has decided to challenge Dr S Subramaniam for the deputy president post in the coming party polls.
Making the announcement two days ago, Loganathan when contacted by FMT today said he had a good chance of winning the party’s number two post based on his popularity among the grassroots members of the party.
Najib had in July brokered a consensus in the party, which had been agreed upon by president G Palanivel, deputy president Dr Subramaniam and vice-presidents M Saravanan and SK Devamany. Under the peace accord the top two positions in the party will not see a contest.
Palanivel was elected unopposed last month at the MIC presidential nominations. The election of other office bearers — deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 central working committee members — would be held in November this year.
Dr Subramaniam, who is also Health Minister, is tipped to seek re-election at the November party polls.
Loganathan, once a strong ally with former MIC president S Samy Vellu, joined the party in 1976 and since then had contributed to Samy Vellu’s win in the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency at general elections.
However, relations between the two turned sour starting 2003. In 2006, Loganathan famously won the Sungai Siput division chairman post by beating Samy Vellu’s man by 46 votes.
In 2007, Loganathan was expelled from MIC by Samy Vellu but was readmitted into the party in 2010.
Asked on his chances, Loganathan said his 30-year experience in the party and his wide popularity would propel him to a win.
In addition, he said Dr Subramaniam was not a popular figure in the party previously, but rose up the ranks with the assistance of Samy Vellu.
“If a person without popularity and no grassroots support can win the battle, why can’t I challenge him for the post?” Loganathan questioned.
Loganathan believes that he could stage an upset against Subramaniam and hopes to magnify his service to the Indian community if elected.