KUALA LUMPUR: Campaigning in the MIC divisional polls continues to be keen after three-quarters of the 129 divisions completed their nominations last week.
Party secretary-general S. Sothinathan said the campaigning had been smooth without any complaint of irregularities in the contests for division chief and other posts.
“Those contesting had also heeded the call for a campaign that is healthy and free from money politics.
“We are closely monitoring the 96 divisions and will not hesitate to take action if anyone is found to be practising money politics,” he said.
He said that the contests in the divisions were welcomed because this showed that the members were coming forward to offer their services for the community.
In Selangor, Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk G. Palanivel is among five division chiefs who were returned unopposed when the nominations closed in 17 divisions on Monday.
Palanivel, an MIC vice president, won uncontested for a fourth term in Hulu Selangor. The others who won unopposed were P. Wilson (Ampang), Datuk C. Krishnan (Sepang), Senator M. Ratnam (Selayang) and V. Thiagarajan (Tanjung Karang).
Selangor state executive councillor Datuk K. Sivalingam is being challenged by K. Mokanarajan for the Shah Alam division, while incumbent S. Subramaniam who is also known as Jumbo Maniam is facing a three-cornered fight with S. Gopalakrishnan and B. Rajendran for the Kapar division chief post.
Two former state assemblymen, Datuk S. Gopalakrishnan is facing G. Ponnusamy for the Hulu Langat division while G. Jayakumaran challenges S. Rajagopal for the Gombak division.
Palanivel, who is also the Selangor MIC state chairman, reminded the division leaders to close ranks after the divisional elections and concentrate on strengthening the party.
Palanivel said the contests would also create new interests and help increase the present membership of 580,000 and also strengthen the party machinery.
In Johor, eleven division chairmen were returned unopposed. State chairman Datuk K.S. Balakrishnan was returned unopposed as Gelang Patah divison chief and state secretary R. Sinnaiyah as Johor Baru division chief.
The others unopposed were N. Nagalingam (Mersing), Jasbir Singh (Pontian), Tan Sri G. Pasamanickam (Muar), A. Subbiah (Kota Tinggi), T. Velayutham (Sri Gading), P. Krishnan (Tenggaroh), S. Krishnasamy (Labis), M. Ganapathy (Kluang), A. Singgatore (Bakri) and S. Thasarathan (Parit Sulong).
In Pahang, there will be contests in Bentong, Mentakab, Raub, Lipis and Temerloh, which is half of the 10 MIC divisions in the state.
For the first time, state MIC chairman and Bentong division chief Datuk R. Sinnathamby would be challenged by his deputy R. Mahendran but state deputy chairman and Sabai state assemblyman M. Davendran was unopposed in Kuantan division.
The Pekan division saw an interesting feature where both the division leader and his deputy agreed on a compromise by exchanging their posts.
Officials said the compromise between two-term division leader R. Ramasamy and his deputy S. Kathir Gamu was made at the last minute.
In Perlis, there were no contests with state chairman S. Vengadasamy returned unopposed in Arau, P. Kaliappan in Padang Besar and M. Gunasegaran in Kangar.