Muslim League finally says ‘no’ to Left front; Congress relieved

Some Muslim organisations had contacted Thangal on Sunday to express their apprehensions over the perceived tilt of the IUML towards the LDF.

Published: 21st November 2023 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2023 09:21 AM   |  A+A-

FILE - IUML state president Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Laying speculation to rest, the IUML has yielded to pressure from the party’s rank and file as well as other Muslim organisations, and categorically stated that it has no plan to ditch the UDF for the rival camp. IUML state president Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal declared on Monday that there is no question of his party joining the CPM-led front. 

Addressing the party’s district camp in Sultan Bathery in Wayanad, Thangal said there are a thousand reasons for the Muslim League to remain in the UDF.

Some Muslim organisations had contacted Thangal on Sunday to express their apprehensions over the perceived tilt of the IUML towards the LDF. The induction of IUML leader P Abdul Hameed to the director board of Kerala Bank and the presence of a party man on the dais of the Nava Kerala Sadas event in Kasaragod had left many tongues wagging. 

The organisations felt that IUML’s entry to the CPM-led front would have far-reaching consequences in the state and wanted Thangal to come out with an emphatic statement that would end all speculation.

“IUML is not merely a constituent of the UDF, we created the front. We have the responsibility to preserve it,” Thangal said, adding that the UDF ideology has a significant role in protecting communal harmony in Kerala. “The UDF accommodates all beliefs, and communal amity flourishes when they are organised under the banner of the front,” Thangal said.

He said the UDF principles helped foster Hindu-Christian-Muslim unity in Kerala. “Real secularism is the one which is rooted in beliefs and not the one based on rejection of religion. The UDF has succeeded in achieving it and people want to protect the system. So, strengthening of the UDF will be the prime aim of IUML,” he said. 

A K Balan says CPM has not invited IUML to LDF

Thangal declared that his party is not ready to budge an inch from the stand. “If the IUML wants to change the alliance, it doesn’t need to enter through the doors of any bank. We will declare it openly, explaining the rationale behind the decision. No such circumstance exists now,” he said. If anyone has any different dreams, it would be better for them to shelve the idea now, Thangal said.

IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty also said his party will work to strengthen the UDF. The party has a proud history of working for the resounding victory of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he said. IUML leaders’ statement has given a big relief to the Congress which has been in a quandary over the developments that happened in the past few days. 

Meanwhile, CPM central committee member A K Balan said his party has not invited the IUML to LDF. “But the IUML cannot continue in the UDF for long considering the current policies of the Congress. IUML’s mind is with us and only the body is with the UDF,” he said.

Talking to reporters, Kunhalikutty said Balan’s remarks are ‘just madness’. But when the statement became controversial, the IUML leader clarified that his remark was not personal and was meant to describe the CPM stand. “Our relationship in the UDF stems from our hearts and it is not based on some flimsy grounds. We will work hard for the victory of the UDF in Kerala and the INDIA front at the national level,” he said.

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