Rift in MIC comes to head as top two leaders throw each other out of party

Hours after MIC president G. Palanivel (left) announced his deputy's suspension, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam declared that he was taking over as acting president
Hours after MIC president G. Palanivel (above) announced his deputy's suspension, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam declared that he was taking over as acting president.
Hours after MIC president G. Palanivel (left) announced his deputy's suspension, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam declared that he was taking over as acting president
Hours after MIC president G. Palanivel announced his deputy's suspension, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam (above) declared that he was taking over as acting president.

KUALA LUMPUR - The crisis in the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has hit rock bottom, with things coming to a head between the two top leaders and each throwing the other out of the party.

Hours after president G. Palanivel announced his deputy's suspension, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam declared that he was taking over as acting president until re-elections are carried out.

Dr Subramaniam claimed Datuk Seri Palanivel's membership had been stripped after he took party matters to court. "Monday's High Court decision also noted that the five who brought the case to court did not do so with a resolution passed by the party's central working committee (CWC)," he said yesterday, after chairing a meeting of the 2009 CWC here.

He noted that under the party Constitution, any member who takes party issues to court without a resolution from the CWC is automatically stripped of membership.

On Tuesday, Mr Palanivel released a statement saying he had suspended Dr Subramaniam, MIC vice-president M. Saravanan and 13 other 2009 CWC members for going against his orders and holding a meeting.

However, Dr Subramaniam said Mr Palanivel's orders no longer had any effect on the party or the committee.

On Monday, the High Court dismissed two judicial review applications filed by Mr Palanivel and four others against the Registrar of Societies (RoS), which had investigated the party for irregularities in its 2013 election and directed it to hold fresh elections.

"Following the court decision, the 2009 CWC will act in the interim to hold re-elections for all levels of the party," said Dr Subramaniam. In his capacity as acting president, he also reinstated Datuk A. Sakthivel as secretary-general and Datuk Jaspal Singh as treasurer-general.

In a statement later, Mr Palanivel hit back by saying that the party constitution clearly provides that any CWC meeting must be called only by the secretary-general.

"Therefore, all meetings called by Subra and others are illegal. I am still the duly elected president of MIC and any claims to the contrary are misconceived and untenable," he said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2015, with the headline 'Rift in MIC comes to head as top two leaders throw each other out of party'. Print Edition | Subscribe