P K Kunhalikutty’s vanishing act: IUML seeks his explanation as controversy rages

The controversy over IUML National General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty skipping Parliament during voting on the Triple Talaq Bill further deepened on Saturday.

Published: 30th December 2018 06:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2018 06:26 AM   |  A+A-

File photo of Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty.

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: The controversy over IUML National General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty skipping Parliament during voting on the Triple Talaq Bill further deepened on Saturday. Under pressure from within the party and also among the Muslim community at large, League supremo Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal sought an explanation from Kunhalikutty on the matter. The unusual move is seen as a jolt to the predominance Kunhalikutty enjoys in the party. 

According to League sources, party state president Thangal sought clarification from Kunhalikutty in his capacity as president of the IUML national political affairs committee. It is learnt Thangal conveyed to Kunhalikutty that his absence from Parliament was a serious lapse. Sources said Thangal’s move was on basis of majority opinion within the party’s top leadership. Sadiqali Shihab Thangal, the IUML Malappuram unit chief,  did not hide his displeasure over Kunhalikutty’s absence. “The party has taken a note of the incident as a serious lapse. The explanation has been sought due to the lack of caution exercised on the matter,” said Thangal.

The rare move by Thangal has taken many in the party by surprise. However, owing to Kunhalikutty’s dominance in the League IUML, leaders were restrained in their response. “Thangal is the supreme leader of the party. If there is any issue in connection with the party, he may have asked for a clarification to know the exact facts. The person concerned just has to explain the facts,” the party’s other MP E T Mohammad Basheer said.

It perhaps for the first time in recent history that a senior leader of such stature has been pulled up by the Thangal family. Earlier, when Kunhalikutty was in the dock for skipping the election to the vice-president post, similar demands had emerged for seeking an explanation from the IUML strongman.  Sensing a chance to corner the IUML, newly-inducted LDF partner INL took out a march to Kunhalikutty’s house in Malappuram.

Jaleel faces protests from MYL workers, clashes break out at Kalpakanchery

Malappuram: Clashes erupted at Kalpakanchery after Youth League(MYL) activists blocked Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel and waved a black flag at him. The minister was here at Paravannur to lay the foundation stone of the new hi-tech block of GLP School.

Around 30 Youth League activists blocked the road while the minister arrived to attend the function. This was followed by clashes between CPM and DYFI activists with Youth League activists. And the police resorted into lathi charge in order to disperse the protesters.  After attending the function, Jaleel was accompanied by CPM and DYFI activists who took him by foot to Kadungathukundu, a few kilometres away from Paravannur.

Taking note of the possible protests and clash, more than 50 police personnel were deployed at the spot.The UDF had already announced non-cooperation venting ire against not inviting local MLA C Mammootty to the programme. They alleged the school got the new block after efforts were taken by the Tirur MLA. The Kalpakanchery police have registered a case against 150 Youth League activists for blocking the minister and waving a black flag. 

MP remains unfazed

Unfazed by the storm building up over him, Kunhalikutty told mediapersons in Dubai that he skipped Parliament not to attend a wedding but to attend a meeting in connection with the party’s mouthpiece Chandrika. He said these facts have been stated in his explanation to Hyderali Shihab Thangal. Kunhalikutty added he would not have skipped Parliament had he known that voting would take place on the Bill on Thursday. He added that he left Delhi after evolving a strategy to be adopted on the Triple Talaq Bill in consultation with E T Mohammad Basheer.

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