Kuala Lumpur, Mar 16 (ANI): Incumbent Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu is all set to retain the party's top post for a record 11th consecutive term, as his only challenger, former MIC vice-president M.
Muthupalaniappan is not expected to get the minimum 50 nominations required from the party's branches.
Under the party constitution, a presidential aspirant needs 300 nominations, with each nomination needing a proposer and five seconders, to be eligible to contest. All proposers and seconders must be branch chairmen.
The MIC president will be picked by the 22 committee members of each of the 3,700 branches nationwide. The party has fixed March 22 for the nominations and polling on April 12.
If Muthupalaniappan fails to get 50 nominations, Vellu will be named president on March 22 -- the same date when he officially became the party supremo, 28 years ago in 1981.
In January, Muthupalaniappan was expelled by the disciplinary committee for acting against the interests of the party but was reinstated following an appeal to the party's Central Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body.
According to the New Strait Times, Muthupalaniappan had claimed that there were concerted efforts by some party leaders to ensure he did not get enough nominations to contest.
"I am facing an uphill task. Even obtaining nomination forms is a huge task, what more asking branch leaders to sign it," he said.
Political observers said "politics of patronage" was the reason why Samy Vellu's grip on power had remained unchallenged for decades.
A CWC member said the thousands of branches, which held their annual general meetings last month, had unanimously supported Samy Vellu for the president's post.
With Samy Vellu expected to retain the top post, the fight would focus on the deputy president's post. (ANI)