NST, By SUGANTHI SUPARMANIAM, firstname.lastname@example.org, Dec 08 2011
MIC LINE-UP: Vell Paari among new faces considered by party
central working committee member M. Madhu Marimuthu being briefed on
the heritage room by is said to be closely linked to party president
Datuk G. Palanivel
SEVERAL new faces and some who lost in 2008 are expected to be named as MIC candidates for the next general election.
These newcomers, comprising up-and-coming party leaders, are said to be closely linked to party president Datuk G. Palanivel.
Among the potential candidates are said to be first-term MIC central working committee members A. Sakthivel, 41, M. Mohana, 35, and M. Madhu Marimuthu, 48 and former senator N. Rawichandran, 49.
Also in the list are said to be S. Vell Paari, who is likely to contest the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat previously held by his father, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, and former MIC Youth chief S.A. Vigneswaran.
Madhu, when contacted, denied that candidates were being considered due to their close relationship with Palanivel.
"That is not true. This is no ordinary general election, it's a mother of all battles.
"The candidates cannot just be his men. They must be able to raise money for projects, run campaigns and take care of their respective constituencies well.
"We need candidates who can perform, have the credentials and do not carry any baggage.
"A lot of factors need to be considered, it's not about being close to the president. We need to win this election as the future of MIC depends on this."
In the 2008 general election, MIC won only three out of nine parliamentary seats and seven out of 19 state seats which it contested.
The parliamentary seats it won were Segamat (Johor), Cameron Highlands (Pahang) and Tapah (Perak).
A central working committee member said that Madhu and Sakthivel had already been told to start work for the Kapar parliamentary seat, Mohana for the Kota Raja parliamentary seat and Rawichandran, Batu Caves state seat.
"They were told to start work in those constituencies and make their faces known to the people there," said the member who did not want to be named.
He added that Vell Paari's name was being considered as MIC wanted a strong personality for Sungai Siput, a seat close to the heart of MIC as two of its past presidents had held it, namely Tun V.T. Sambanthan and Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
The source added that Vigneswaran, who left MIC in 2008 and returned to the party in 2009, was expected to make a comeback to national politics.
Vigneswaran, 46, was a two-term Kota Raja member of parliament before losing in the 2008 general election.
"He may have lost with a big majority, but that was because the people were just angry at that time. Many big names lost, too," said another party leader.
He said there was a different trend in voting now and argued that the people today would vote for a candidate who could serve them.
"What the people are looking for are those who can perform."
There is also talk that MIC Wanita chief Datin Paduka Komala Krishnamoorthy, who lost her Kapar seat in 2008, would not be fielded this time around.
The MIC youth wing is optimistic that their chief, T. Mohan, will be fielded despite him losing the 2008 election and the bad blood said to be brewing between him and Palanivel.
"No matter what has happened, Palanivel cannot afford to sideline Mohan. He is a party worker, well known among members and the public for his work," said a youth leader.
A former MIC secretary-general said Palanivel was keeping the cards close to his chest and was careful not to mention names, fearing in-fighting in the party.
"Whoever the candidates are, they must have all the right qualities, able to perform, open to the people and hard-working. They cannot afford to be complacent any more."