KUALA LUMPUR: Former MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan ended recent speculation that he would vie for the deputy president’s post by announcing his candidacy for the vice-presidency.
Despite facing an eight-cornered fight for the three VP posts, Sothinathan said he decided to join the fray after seeking the advice of party president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and considering party unity.
“I have also taken into account views of grassroots leaders, the community and the public,’’ he told reporters at a press conference yesterday.
Asked why he opted out of the race for the MIC deputy president’s post although there was indication of grassroots support for him, the former deputy minister reiterated that he decided not to do so “in the best interest of MIC and the Indian community”.
The Teluk Kemang MIC division chief, who was vice-president between 2006 and 2009, said he remained firm on his decision.
“What is important is to strengthen MIC and to return it to its former glory days,” he said, adding that his previous stint as party secretary-general between 2002 and 2006 would also give him an edge.
Sothinathan failed in his bid for the MIC deputy president’s post in 2009 when he lost to then incumbent Palanivel, 58.
He was appointed to the MIC central working committee earlier this year, making him eligible for contest in the party polls on Nov 30.
Apart from Sothinathan, the others who have declared their candidacy for the vice-president’s post are incumbents Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan and Perak Speaker Datuk Seri S.K. Devamany, former MIC Youth chief Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran, Johor’s Datuk S. Balakrishnan, party treasurer-general Datuk Jaspal Singh, current MIC Youth chief Datuk T. Mohan and Klang division chairman Raghu Moorthy.
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