Tuesday, September 26, 2023

New Indian parties on the horizon, say sources


New Indian parties on the horizon, say sources

Political insiders say it is likely one party will align itself with the unity government, while another will come under the PN umbrella.

A source with Perikatan Nasional says there has been a ‘massive increase’ in the number of Indian voters switching support to the coalition since the 2022 general election.

PETALING JAYA: As many as three new Indian political parties are in various stages of formation, political sources have indicated to FMT, with much going on behind the scenes following recent election setbacks for Indian political leaders.

MIC was subject to a humbling at the general election last November, followed by a snub for key Indian politicians in Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional as the coalitions prepared for six state assembly elections in August.

BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told MIC the party would not be offered any seats to contest, which precipitated a minor walkout and resignations of some key members amid rumours they were in discussion with Perikatan Nasional about setting up anew.

PH similarly dropped P Ramasamy of DAP from its candidate lineup in Penang, prompting the former deputy chief minister and those loyal to him to quit the party a few days before the polls.

A source from PN told FMT that one Indian party was in the pipeline as the number of Indian voters switching support to PN had increased massively between the general election and the state elections.

“We went up to 21% from 5%, which is a clear indication there is a need for an Indian party within PN,” the leader said, adding that the deputy chairman of PN’s Indian committee, P Punithan, has been engaging with key stakeholders nationwide.

“He has been preparing comprehensive action plans and aggressively making moves towards forming the new party,” the source said. However, Punithan played down his role, simply saying “it is a work in progress”.

Another source revealed that an Indian party aligned with PH is imminent and had already received the green light from PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim. “It will be led by a former MIC leader,” the source said.

However, the source said PN is also in talks with another Indian group about forming a friendly party, although the talks are still at a very early stage and any decision would only be known closer to the next general election.

“This group consists of a number of former PH members who are currently unhappy,” the source said.

Last week, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin posted a picture of him with Ramasamy and two Ramasamy allies, former Penang DAP leaders David Marshel and M Satees.

Ramasamy played down the post, describing it as an occasion of two friends catching up over national politics.

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