HULU SELANGOR, April 12 (Bernama) -- The MIC, which will field its candidate for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner, is moving full steam ahead to win the hearts and minds of the people of this huge constituency.
A check by Bernama revealed that the largest Indian-based political party is sparing no efforts to regain the seat with hordes of party election workers descending on this sleepy hollow, which has about 64, 000 voters and is as big as the state of Melaka.
"So far, after going to the ground, we discovered only small pockets of Indians who support the opposition. Otherwise, the Indian voters are behind the BN. The 12,600 Indian voters here are crucial to win the by-election.
"We are very heartened that young Indian voters are also showing signs of support for the BN. We have received very good response from this segment," an MIC election worker told Bernama at the Kuala Kubu Baru BN service centre here today.
The MIC's effort to regain the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat is being vigorously pursued by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and his deputy and former Hulu Selangor member of parliament Datuk G. Palanivel.
Palanivel held the seat for four terms before his 198-vote loss to Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad at the 2008 general election. Palanivel, who is also the MIC deputy president, represented the constituency from 1990 to 2008.
The constituency has three state constituencies -- Hulu Bernam, Kuala Kubu Baru and Batang Kali -- all held by the BN.
Come April 25, eligible voters of Hulu Selangor will elect a new member of parliament in a by-election, necessitated by the death of Zainal Abidin, on March 25.
The BN has announced that it will field a candidate from the MIC in the by-election, the nomination for which is on April 17. Sources said that the candidate would be a toss-up between Palanivel and Hulu Selangor MIC Youth chief V. Mugilan.
The seat has 52 per cent Malays, 26 per cent Chinese, 19 per cent Indians, with other races constituting the remainder.
PKR has announced that it would name its candidate in Serendah on Tuesday night in while the BN is expected to do the same on Thursday.
The opposition is expected to field former minister in the prime minister's department and PKR coordinator Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim. However, Hulu Selangor PKR deputy chief Razali Mokhtar and treasurer Datuk Dr Halili Rahmat are also in the running.