MIC vice president Datuk S. Sothinathan, 49, said Saturday he would contest the deputy president’s post in party polls in September.

He will face incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel, 58, and former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam, 65, who was deputy president for 25 years until he was ousted in 2006.

The former Natural Resources and Environment deputy minister and two term-vice president who had also served as political secretary to party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu previously, said he had informed his boss of his decision to contest the post.

"I told him that it was time for us to rejuvenate the party and focus on regaining support from the Indian massess, particularly the young.

"I told him that I needed his support to reunite the Indians in MIC," he told reporters here.

Asked if Samy endorsed his candidacy, Sothinathan, who was party secretary general from 2000-2006, said he was told to think about it.

"He told me to think about it carefully. But he did not discourage me...I am sure I will get his blessings.

"I have reached a stage where I need to make a bold decision. I have been in the MIC from the day I graduated from Universiti Malaya. I have served the party for 25 years and I have no intention of doing anything else although there have been offers," said Sothinathan, who obtained a first class honours degree in Economics from UM and is a qualified lawyer.

Sothinathan, a two term Teluk Kemang MP said he was also confident of victory despite being up against Palanivel and Subramaniam.

Asked if he was breaking ranks with Samy Vellu, who had apparently endorsed Palanivel as his choice of deputy, Sothinathan said the party president was not as the party president would always remain his mentor.

"As far as I know, Samy Vellu has not publicly endorsed anyone. I have spoken to several party leaders, non-governmental organisations, friends and individuals and they have all given me their support.

"The last general election has taught us a lot. I have been thinking about this for the past 15 months. We need to rebuild the party...we must do it now.

"I have been hearing a lot about the split in the party...I can't see this anymore," he said.

Asked if he would form a team with those vying for the vice-presidency, Sothinathan, who served as Health Ministryt parliamentary secretray from 2000-20004, said he would not.

Samy Vellu after winning the presidential election uncontested in March, this year, had declared that this would be his last term and whoever picked as deputy president at the party election in September would takeover the leadership of the 630,000-member party after his retirement from active politics.


careindian said...

So it is a good fight. We have to wait and see whether Datuk S.Subramaniam has any support. Sothi is a Samy's man. Though Samy is not going to say openly, Sothy will have Samy's hundred percent support.

let a young blood lead MIC. lets see if there are changes . sothi got the knowledge image and the name.