KOZHIKODE: The leaders and cadre of the Indian National League (INL) are elated that the party has finally got its due after almost three decades of frustration and waiting. It was in 1994 that a group of leaders led by Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait, the then national president of IUML, walked away from the parent organisation to form a new outfit. The provocation was IUML’s reluctance to come out of UDF in the aftermath of the demolition of Babri Masjid.
Sait had the blessings of CPM and it was reported that Communist leaders even suggested the party’s name that is devoid of the Muslim tag. But INL had to wait for long to prove its ‘secular credentials’ before getting admitted to LDF in 2019. It suffered a lot in the interim period. Many of its top leaders, including the children of Sait, deserted the party while the cadre became restless. Frustrated with the ‘step-motherly’ attitude of LDF, INL hobnobbed with UDF briefly in 2010-11. Of late, some persons left the party to form INL (Democratic) and supported UDF in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“The cabinet berth is the final recognition for the principled stand the party took over the years. LDF leadership has realised that our association with it is based on principles and not for any posts,” said A P Abdul Wahab, state president of the party.
“We were derided and scoffed at by our detractors. IUML even questioned the party’s relevance after Sait sahib’s demise,” Wahab said. “We left IUML for a cause. Sait had said IUML was driven by the business motive of the leaders. The latest developments in the party have proved him correct. IUML could not do anything when many of its leaders were entangled in corruption charges. Its decadence was foreseen by leaders like Sait,” he said. INL feels the political climate has turned conducive for the party. “Our cadre have become more enthusiastic and disgruntled elements in IUML have started sending feelers to us,” he said.