Confusion over IUML state general secretary post led to selection of Haris Beeran as RS candidate

Salam was initially considered the natural choice and had the support of national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty.
 Haris Beeran
Haris Beeran

KOZHIKODE: The confusion over who would become the state general secretary if P M A Salam were to be sent to the Rajya Sabha led to the selection of Haris Beeran, a lawyer with a strong track record in fighting legal battles for the party in the Supreme Court.

Initially, IUML aimed for an additional seat in the Lok Sabha elections. When the Congress expressed its inability to concede to the demand, the party settled for the Rajya Sabha seat. Salam was initially considered the natural choice and had the support of national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty.

However, several leaders approached party president Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal with claims for the seat. Among them were P K Firos, the Muslim Youth League state general secretary, and Faisal Babu, the national general secretary, who strongly pleaded their case. The party leadership had earlier announced that young and new faces would be considered for the Rajya Sabha.

Simultaneously, other party members were eyeing the post of state general secretary if Salam were to be given the Rajya Sabha seat. It was learnt that Salam was not eager to relinquish the post, even if given the Rajya Sabha seat, as he wished to remain active in state politics. K M Shaji said in a television interview that the general secretary post was a coveted position for any party worker.

Ultimately, Sadiq Ali Thangal decided to select Haris, a native of Aluva who has been practising law since 2011. The son of former additional advocate general V K Beeran, Haris is the president of the Delhi unit of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), national convener of the Lawyers Forum, and a member of the IUML constitution committee. Haris has been involved in several high-profile cases, including the Hadiya case, the hijab case, and cases related to journalist Siddique Kappan and PDP leader Abdul Nazar Madani.

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