MIC Youth leader S.A. Vigneswaran has resigned and threatened to open his former mentor’s Pandora’s box. These are signs that something is really not right in the party.
IT IS rare for leaders in MIC to resign. The usual way to disconnect with the party is through expulsion.
Therefore it was a rare occasion for MIC Youth leader S.A. Vigneswaran, a one time blue-eyed boy of party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, to announce on Sunday his immediate resignation from the party.
They had a fallout after Vigneswaran indirectly sided with rebels in the MIC whose aim is to pressure Samy Vellu to quit.
Vigneswaran or Vicky as he is known to those close to him, gave a rambling press conference going back and forth about Samy Vellu and how the March 8 election disaster is all Samy Vellu’s doing.
The departure has left many in the MIC and outside speechless at what they say is “the waste” in Vicky's resignation.
Samy Vellu’s opponents had hoped Vicky would stay in the party and fight the MIC president from inside and hopefully force him to quit.
Others had hoped he would be such an irritant to Samy Vellu in the MIC that the party supremo would be forced to sack him and in the process incur the wrath of the party’s Youth wing.
In the end it appears Vicky, who first became Youth leader in 2002, was not cut out to be the hero the “rebels” in the MIC and outside had hoped for.
“He is not the man to bell the cat,” said a disappointed member of the MIC central working committee.
“He does not have the guts or the vision.”
Besides, a big question mark hangs over Vicky’s political career.
He lost badly in the last general election and remains generally unpopular in the community largely because of his “arrogant” ways and the strong support he had always given to Samy Vellu.
Nevertheless his resignation hits Samy Vellu hard in several areas and at a time when pressure is mounting on the MIC chief to leave the political stage, taking responsibility for the election disaster.
One is at a personal level. Vicky’s father M. Sanasee was a close personal friend of Samy Vellu in the 70s and 80s and a strong ally who helped Samy Vellu rise up in the Selangor MIC.
After Sanasee died in 1982, he promoted his brother Datuk K. Sellathevan up the ladder and later gave a helping hand to Vicky when he was hanging around in Klang town and not making any headway in life.
“It was Samy Velu who took care of his education and promoted him in the MIC, all because of the heartfelt gratitude, the party supremo has for his late friend Sannasee.
“It will hurt deeply that it is a son of Sanasee who has stabbed him publicly,” said a former Selangor MIC leader.
On another level, Vicky’s resignation leaves the party president without a strong arm to enforce his rule in the party and at a time when his leadership is being questioned.
Vicky founded and headed a paralegal force called Pani Padai or Briged Putera, believed to be a vehicle to enforce order and compliance at MIC and Maika Holdings gatherings.
While many were Indians youths genuinely interested in helping the MIC, some of the members were of questionable background, party insiders said.
Vicky on Sunday announced that the 20,000-strong brigade would be disbanded probably to deny Samy Vellu use of its members.
But party sources said Samy Vellu is already working to reconstitute the force and has asked Datuk M. Saravanan, a new rising star in the MIC and Deputy Federal Territories Minister, to either temporarily head the unit or find a new leader.
Samy Vellu will need all the help he can get as despite the pressure to quit, he is seeking re-election as MIC president for a final term in March 2009.
As for Vicky, he is heading for something called the Malaysian Indian Youth Development, a private vehicle that will allow him to remain afloat and take constant snipes at his former mentor.
He has also promised, now that he is no longer an MIC member, to open the Pandora’s box of misdeeds by Samy Vellu.
Likewise it must have crossed Samy Vellu’s mind to return the favour by opening the lid on his former blue-eyed boy’s box.