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Hulu Selangor byelection: VS Chandran announces candidature

Kuala Lumpur: V.S. Chandran, a businessman of Indian origin, Saturday joined the fray for a Malaysian parliamentary by-poll, raising fears of division of the the ethnic Indian vote.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhiyddin Yassin said Chandran's entry was no problem for the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and the ruling alliance Barisan Nasional (BN) that aims to win back its traditional stronghold.

Chandran, 55, a former MIC member, was a surprise last-minute entry at the Hulu Selangor by-election.

Another ethnic Indian, Anuradha Jayasingham, 40, also wanted to join the fray on behalf of the opposition alliance, Pakatan Rakyat of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. She complained to Ibrahim that she wanted to file her nomination, but she was prevented by the police.

Ibrahim has, however, nominated former law minister Zaid Ibrahim as the opposition nominee.

There are 64,500 registered voters in Hulu Selangor. Of the total, the Malays make up the majority with 34,020 voters. The next largest group is the Chinese with 16,964 voters followed by the Indians at 12,453 voters.

Nominations closed for the April 25 contest with Chandran, another Independent, Johan Mohammed Diah, joining the fray along with Zaid Ibrahim and MIC's P. Kamalanathan.

Kamalanathan, 44, is a public relations executive and the MIC's Information chief.

The Star newspaper said MIC chief Samy Vellu, who was present at Kamalanathan's filing of nomination, tripped on a barbed wire fence and hurt his foot. He was being treated at a local hospital.

Vellu had unsuccessfully lobbied for the nomination of his deputy, G. Palanivel, who had held Hulu Selangor seat since 1991 and had lost it narrowly by 198 votes in 2008.(IANS)

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