Kerala: People’s front against IUML

Dr. K T Jaleel MLA, who was expelled from Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in 2005 because of his rebellious stand against the party leadership, is trying to form a ‘Janakeeya Munnani’ (People’s Front) as a common platform for all parties and individuals who disapprove the anti-developmental approaches of the Muslim League.

Aiming the forthcoming Panchayat election, he organised a convention of like-minded parties and people at Valanchery on 30 January in Malappuram, Kerala as part of widening the campaign work of the movement. Representatives of CPM, CPI and INL took part in the convention, which was inaugurated by PTA Rahim, MLA, another critic of the IUML.

According to K T Jaleel, the leaders of IUML were instrumental in either spoiling or delaying of many developmental projects that otherwise would have come up in his constituency. “The trend is same wherever the party has dominance and we want to resist it by bringing together a new front consisting of members from various political parties,” he said. “It was the anti-developmental approach of certain IUML leaders that prevented the setting up of a mineral mixture plant of Kerala Feeds in my constituency. The project would have come up in Kuttippuram had they not opposed it in the Court,” Jaleel blamed. A similar approach was adopted when a unit of SIDCO was about to come up at five acres of land at Valanchery, he accused.

According to Jaleel, many of the leaders who quit the League have expressed willingness to work with the new movement. They include even the former state working committee members and youth wing leaders of the League, he added. The plan of the ‘Janakeeya Munnani’ is to spread its welfare-oriented activities. When asked about the main objective of the front, Jaleel said that his movement wanted to emerge as a force of pro-development, to expose the hypocrisy of League in opposing developmental activities.

Meanwhile, IUML leaders termed Jaleel’s new venture as a futile attempt of disgruntled elements after the piteous performance of a movement called CH Cultural Forum, which was floated five years back by K T Jaleel after his expulsion from the League. State Secretary of Indian Union Muslim League E T Muhammed Basheer MP said that his party was least bothered of such futile efforts and that they were making serious efforts to merge Indian National League (INL) in IUML before the forthcoming Panchayat elections. He was talking to media persons at government guest house in Kasaragode, Kerala.

He said, “Panakkad Hiderali Shihab Thangal, after being appointed as the president of the party, had stated that INL will be given a deserving position in the party. This would reduce the gap between the two parties and both the parties, now, are heading together on several issues.” He said that the party is keen on merging INL with the IUML rather than forming an alliance and facing the election.

Indian National League (INL), a splinter-group of IUML, was formed following the Babari Msjid demolition as the party denied the demand of certain leaders to resign from the Central Government protesting against the incident. Though the party justified their stand saying withdrawing support to the Congress government would eventually help the communal forces to come up to power, some leaders headed by Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait resigned from the party and formed Indian National League on 23 April, 1993. From then on, the party has been supporting the Left Front and presently it is an ally of the ruling left front led by CPI (M).

Eying the benefits in the forthcoming Panchayat elections, talks are taking place between Muslim League General Secretary P.K. Kunjalikkutty and   P M A Salam, I N L State General Secretary and the new step of the latter has the strong support of S A Puthiyavalappil, President of I N L. Though there are many party members who can’t cope up with the proposed merger, the leaders are likely go ahead with the talks.

It has been noted that the forthcoming Panchayat election in Kerala will bring about an intrinsic change in the Muslim politics of the state, as the stand of Muslim League, the biggest Muslim political party in Kerala, on several current issues related to the community has degraded the status of the party. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2010 on page no. 7

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