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Time May Not Favour Palanivel

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Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is banking on time to ride through the present impasse in MIC and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) has given him that leverage – complete the fresh poll by April 2.

From now until April 2, Palanivel has three months to build up support and strength and ensure that the leadership line-up would be his men – the president’s men – or else he has a rough time to retain his presidency in next year’s party election.

Pressures are mounting for him to step down and he has yet to convince the disgruntled members and those he termed as dissatisfied losers that he is still capable to lead the party and overcome the impasse.

Added to his problem is the involvement of his mentor, former president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, the man who not only groomed and put him up but a man who had led the party for 31 years, a period of trials and turbulences but managed to unite the Indian community and made the party to stay afloat with dignity.

Palanivel may have the time on his side now – for a while – but whether the time would benefit him or not is another story.

Since last month when the RoS directed the party to hold fresh election for all posts except the president, deputy president, Youth and Women chiefs, Palanivel had been silent which agitated many concerned members and leaders.

Even party deputy president Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam could not get in touch with him until some three weeks ago when both met – a chanced meeting after the Cabinet meeting.

Palanivel had, thus far, acted on his own without consulting party leaders or even his deputy which further angered other leaders and members.

The sudden entry of Samy Vellu was also the result of Palanivel’s appointed secretary-general who barred party leaders and members to use the party headquarters to hold press conferences if the purpose was to hit out at Palanivel or the party.

An angry Samy Vellu is not a good sign for Palanivel who is trying to strengthen his position with the party election is just next where he would try to retain his position.

With him as an enemy, Palanivel’s position may not look too good even if the RoS had been generous to give him extension of time to do the re-election or fresh election.

Palanivel’s plan, if he has any, to strengthen his base – grassroot support that is to say – may not come true even if time is with him as Samy Vellu, despite his absence from MIC politics since November 2010, still commands support.

Palanivel’s weakness or can be considered as mistake is that he failed to ‘feel the pulse’ of the grassroots and the Indian community at large when he took over the party.

His support is mostly at the leadership level and even then, not the majority.

Another weakness is his lack of consultation with other leaders in the party – the RoS directive is a fine example.

Given such circumstances, time does not seem to favour him in this impasse – in fact time may be his greatest enemy – but in politics anything can happen.MYNEWSHUB

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