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Indian Progressive Front or IPF was a one man show led by the late Tan Sri M.G.Pandithan, and after his demise, his wife Jayashree has taken over the reigns. There was a lot of objection to the wife taking over the party and it is not sure if the party can survive the present political climate of uncertainty. Nevertheless, Jayashree must be given a chance to prove her worth and that could be like a mythological phoenix arising from the ashes. Wish her the best.
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Pandithan’s widow ‘in full control’ of IPF

By R. Sittamparam

KUALA LUMPUR: The widow of Indian Progressive Front (IPF) founder Tan Sri M.G. Pandithan says she is in full control of the party formed to champion the rights of poor Indians. At her first press conference after her husband’s death three months ago, Puan Sri Jayashree quelled rumours of a leadership crisis in the party.
Speaking at the IPF headquarters here yesterday, Jayashree, 55, said: “I was elected as party president earlier this year by the party’s supreme council.
“As such, I have begun presiding over party affairs and implementing its policies.”
Jayashree, in her visit to several states, said the party’s 380,000 members had pledged their loyalty and support to the leadership.
“I’m determined to carry on focusing on eradicating poverty, solving welfare and health issues and creating an educated Indian society.”
She said a splinter group which had left the party years ago had been attacking her leadership to tarnish the name and image of the party.
“This group, claiming to be leaders of IPF Bersatu, has been campaigning against us nationwide, saying it is the actual and legitimate IPF.
“They have been deceiving the people and confusing everyone by using our party’s name, flag, letterhead and registration number.”
She said IPF’s checks with the Registrar of Societies showed that IPF Bersatu was never registered as a party or society and the group had been functioning under IPF’s name claiming to be its promoters.
“This is a theft involving the party’s name and symbols and neither Pandithan nor I have appointed anyone to be our promoters.”
She said the group’s activities had started before Pandithan died, adding that when he fell sick the group started tarnishing his name.
“Although Pandithan was upset, he did not want to take action against them as they were former party members and had taken part in the party’s struggle in the early days.
“But it is unfortunate that they continue to damage our name and reputation even after Pandithan’s death, giving us no option but to take legal action.”
IPF has filed a RM1 million suit against IPF Bersatu for using its name, logo and registration number.
IPF Bersatu is headed by former IPF secretary-general K. Panjamurti.
Asked about IPF’s plans, she said the party had approached Barisan Nasional chairman Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to join BN.
“We’re waiting for an appointment with Abdullah in September and hope that we will be accepted into BN.
“Later, we will hold our party general assembly, which was postponed from June following Pandithan’s death.”
Asked if IPF had considered joining Pakatan Rakyat, she said: “We will never join Pakatan Rakyat as we are BN loyalists.
“I extend my appreciation and gratitude to the leaders of BN who had supported IPF during Pandithan’s leadership.”


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