With the president elected uncontested and the deputy probably also uncontested, the main focus of the MIC elections is the race for the three vice-president’s posts and for the 32 posts in the CWC.
THE MIC Youth and Wanita elections on Nov 16 will see major changes in the leadership in a decade as the wings’ chiefs are either retiring or leaving, opening the way for a fierce contest among veterans and newcomers to fill the vacant slots.
Both Wanita chief Datin Paduka Komala Krishnamoorthy and Youth chief Datuk T. Mohan have to vacate their posts because of the age limit or are moving up the party ladder.
But they are backing their acolytes for the top posts against challengers who have been waiting in the wings for several years.
Komala is leaving the wing after two terms as Wanita MIC chief and is backing her deputy Datin Dr C.V. Premakumari, 59, for the post.
Dr Premakumari, a veteran Wanita leader who first joined the movement nearly three decades ago, will be facing Mohana Muniandy, 37, an incumbent Central Working Committee (CWC) member representing the Wanita wing.
The fight is that of a veteran against a relatively new comer but one who has the experience and the backing of the party president Datuk G. Palanivel and the leadership.
However, Dr Premakumari, who has the support of the outgoing Komala, has been nurturing many connections in Wanita MIC during her long tenure in the movement.
“All these connections will come handy now,” said a Wanita MIC source who is not shy of showing her strong support for Dr Premakumari but wishes to remain anonymous.
Komala had said that she would give way to Dr Premakumari should she win.
“She has the credibility to lead the Wanita MIC wing and she will make a good chief,” Komala was quoted as saying last week.
Dr Premakumari, who is Perak MIC Wanita leader, announced her candidacy last week, saying she would be able to better lead the movement being a professional and a doctor, and has the endorsement of the party president.
But Datuk Seri G. Palanivel had immediately rubbished that he was endorsing Dr Premakumari.
“I leave it open for contest,” he had stated, but sources feel that he is backing Mohana because he wants someone younger and energetic to lead the movement.
Mohana is head of the MIC social bureau and is president of Power Malaysia, an NGO she set up to train single mothers and the under-privileged which has helped nearly 800 of them.
While she has not officially announced her intention to run, she is already actively campaigning and calling up Wanita MIC delegates to support her.
There is also a serious effort under way – on both Mohana and Dr Premakumari’s sides – to avoid a fight in the Wanita wing in line with a peace deal brokered for the president’s post.
Palanivel won the post uncontested when nominations closed last month.
In return for not contesting against Palanivel for the president’s post, deputy president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam is expected to be returned unopposed to his post when nominations close on Nov 16.
He is slated to inherit the president’s posts when Palanivel retires in 2016.
If a peace deal in Wanita MIC is successful, Mohana is expected to become head of the movement while Dr Premakumari will be her deputy or a senior exco member.
It is a toss-up between incumbent deputy Youth leader V. Mugilan and Youth exco member C. Sivarraajh, who is also special officer to the Perak Mentri Besar, to lead MIC Youth.
“Both are equally matched,” a source said, adding that Mugilan had become famous for his activities in Gabungan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS), a grouping formed to pressure then MIC president Datuk S. Samy Vellu to retire.
“Maybe the chicken has come home to roost,” the source said, adding that Samy Vellu’s diehard supporters in MIC who were angered by his GAS activities might vote against him now.
Sivarraajh has the support of the outgoing Youth chief and some in the MIC leadership while Mugilan has substantial grassroots support.
“We would like to see how this contest shapes up,” said a Youth wing delegate, adding that the two leaders are evenly matched with Sivarraajh having the backing of the incumbent chief Mohan while the grassroots back Mugilan.
Nominations for both wings close on Nov 8 and polling is on Nov 16 with about 550 delegates from each wing voting to decide the outcome.
With the president elected uncontested and the deputy probably also uncontested, the main focus of the MIC elections is the race for the three vice-president’s posts – for which at least 10 candidates are vying – and for the 32 posts in the CWC, for which over 100 candidates are trying their luck.
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