Kerala: Salam to be Muslim League’s candidate for Rajya Sabha

A senior IUML MLA said the party has more or less decided to give the RS ticket to Salam.
IUML Kerala general secretary P M A Salam
IUML Kerala general secretary P M A SalamPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: P M A Salam, state general secretary of the IUML, is slated to be its candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat that falls vacant on July 1. The decision to offer the UDF seat — of the three in Kerala to be vacated that day — to the IUML was reportedly taken unilaterally by Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan after seat-sharing talks for the Lok Sabha election turned controversial.

Satheesan hogged the headlines during the talks, as the League pressed ahead with its demand for a third LS seat, besides Ponnani and Malappuram seats, where E T Mohammed Basheer and Abdul Samad Samadani, respectively, had tasted success. (The two swapped their seats for the 2024 elections). The placatory decision to offer the RS seat to the IUML — made against the backdrop of feelers that the latter is cosying up to the LDF — drew flak from leaders of the Congress and other UDF allies.

A senior IUML MLA said the party has more or less decided to give the RS ticket to Salam.

“For some time the party had been trying to accommodate the 71-year-old leader in a key post. The decision on the RS candidature will be taken after the LS election results are announced on June 4,” he told TNIE.

League yet to take call: Salam

When IUML turned its focus on the RS seat, Satheesan informed its party leaders that P V Abdul Wahab’s seat, which falls vacant on April 23, 2027, will be taken back by the Congress. Despite severe criticism within the Congress, Satheesan remained firm on his stand, claiming that the decision to part with the RS seat was taken with the approval of the Congress high command. A senior Congress leader said that there will be no rethink in the party on the decision to hand the second RS seat to the IUML.

On his part, Salam said the League is yet to take up the RS seat discussion. “We are holding a party meeting on May 18 to evaluate the Lok Sabha election performance. Also, we are in no hurry to decide on the RS seat at this juncture. Let the LS poll outcome come. After that the party will take a call on RS candidature,” Salam told TNIE.

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