Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Palanivel 'dropped', BN may opt for local MIC leader

In a startling development, sources claimed that MIC deputy president G Palanivel has been dropped from the list of Barisan Nasional's candidates for the Hulu Selangor by-election.

Palanivel, the three-term MP for the seat prior to his defeat in the 2008 general election, was MIC's choice to contest for the parliamentary constituency following the death of PKR's Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

According to party sources, Hulu Selangor MIC division Youth chief V Mugilan is expected to be named as the BN candidate by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on April 15.

The sources claimed that Palanivel was dropped by the BN leadership after Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak consulted Umno and MCA leaders over the past week.

"Najib met MCA ministers and deputy minsisters last week. Apart from the recently concluded MCA elections, they also spoke about the Hulu Selangor by-election. MCA leaders wanted the candidate changed.

"On Sunday, he (Najib) met about 100 Umno branch leaders, who also said the same thing. They don't mind an MIC candidate, but not Palanivel," he added.

State reps also want Mugilan

It was also revealed that two out of the three state assemblymen in the Hulu Selangor constituency had allegedly met Najib's "people", telling them to advise their boss not to nominate Palanivel.

FMT learnt that the two Umno assemblymen Mohamed Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam) and Mohd Isa Abu Kassim (Batang Kali) are close to Mugilan and feel more comfortable working with him instead of Palanivel.

If this proves to be true, observers said the move would be a "slap in the face" for MIC president S Samy Vellu, who is seen to be increasingly marginalised by the Najib administration.

The latest development comes at the heels of rumours that Najib's office had instructed the MIC president not to be present during a ceramah by the prime minister in Hulu Selangor over the weekend.

Nomination for the Hulu Selangor seat has been fixed for April 17, whereas the by-election will be held on April 25.

Palanivel could not be reached for comment.

by FMT

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