The mood among the cadre of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) here is upbeat as they will be contesting from Vellore for the third time in a row. But, a section of the cadre of their alliance partner, DMK, is upset over the decision of its high command to hand over the Vellore constituency to the IUML once again.
The DMK unit had high hopes that this time the high command would decide to field a Muslim candidate from the DMK, without deciding to share the seat with the alliance partners. In the 2009 elections, the IUML candidate Abdul Rahman had contested under the DMK symbol from here, this time the party for the first time would be contesting using its own symbol, ‘ladder’.
“We have many eligible Muslim candidates from the DMK who could have been fielded,” said a party senior leader, who expressed displeasure at IUML being given the Vellore seat yet another time. “But, as sincere workers we will obey the decision of the party high command,” he added. Sources claimed that senior functionary Mohammed Saqui and Kadir Anand, son of former Minister Durai Murgan, and two more candidates had expressed their desire to contest from Vellore. But IUML had managed to clinch the deal.
“In fact we wanted to contest from southern districts this time and we were prepared for either Tirunelveli or Tiruchy,” said an IUML leader adding “but the DMK leadership wanted us to contest from Vellore once again.” He also pointed out that so far, the IUML had no recognition, except in Kerala, and had to contest on the symbol of the alliance party all along but this time, but now it would contest using its own symbol. “People are not worried about the symbol but they are looking at the candidates,” he said adding, “We will ensure support from the local DMK and face the battle with confidence.”
To a question if MP Rahman would be fielded once again, he said, “This will be decided by the State steering committee of the party, slated to meet on March 8.” The two MPs of the party had already initiated a lot of developmental activities, which would be continued if elected again, he added.