PKR Indian leaders eyeing 25 seats
| April 12, 2011
They have set their sights on seven parliamentary and 18 state seats. The leaders also dismiss talk that they are ‘asking for too much’.
FMT also learnt that party supremo Anwar Ibrahim, concerned with the decline of Indian support, had instructed a “special Indian team” to do the groundwork to identify suitable seats for PKR’s Indian candidates.
According to sources, the seats identified were Padang Serai (Kedah), Tapah (Perak), Kapar, Subang, Hulu Selangor (Selangor), Bentong (Pahang) and Teluk Kemang (Negri Sembilan).
Most of these seats were traditionally contested by MIC, under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner.
As for state seats, the focus was on Lunas and Bukit Selambau (Kedah), Batu Uban (Pulau Pinang), Tualang Sekah, Behrang, Hutan Melintang and Chenderiang (Perak), Batu Caves, Seri Andalas, Bukit Melawati and Seri Serdang (Selangor), Port Dickson, Rantau and Jeram Padang (Negri Sembilan), Gadik (Malacca), Tiram, Puteri Wangsa and Tanjung Puteri (Johor).
Selangor, with 14% of its voters being Indians, was the main focus.
Sources said that the final decision on the candidates would only be decided by PKR’s supreme council.
“But we are confident that the supreme council will allow us to contest the seats which we have proposed,” said a PKR Indian leader who wished to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile in Kedah, the party’s Indian leaders were confident of wresting the Padang Serai seat from former PKR strongman N Gobalakrishnan. The incumbent quit PKR early this year to become a BN-friendly independent MP.
As for Penang, PKR Indian leaders acknowleged that the state was DAP territory.
“We have little opportunity of contesting in Penang. The only seat we can contest is Batu Uban,” said a source.
In the 2008 general election, PKR’s S Raveenthran defeated BN’s Goh Kheng Sneah with a slim margin to capture the Batu Uban seat.
Meanwhile, PKR Indian leaders also brushed aside talk that they were “asking for too much” in terms of seat allocations.
“What we are proposing is reasonable,” argued one of them.
“We will be happy to get the seats we have requested. We will rival MIC. MIC will contest nine parliamentary and 18 state constituencies under BN. We have to ensure that there is enough Indian representation in these states.”
Asked if the party had winnable Indian candidates, he said the party was currently “searching for good candidates”, saying that 70% of the party’s Indian candidates would be fresh faces.
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