Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Union Muslim League has suddenly become an obsession with Kerala’s rival fronts, with both sides out to establish the party’s secular credentials.
Muslim League is currently a major partner in the opposition United Democratic Front, but there have been overtures on the part of the CPI-M, heading the ruling front, suggesting that the doors are open for the party to make a switch.
The controversy began with state CPI-M secretary MV Govindan making an observation that his party does not consider IUML as a communal party. Only a year ago, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had described it as communal.
Govindan’s statement was widely seen as an invitation for IUML, but the party, while expressing happiness over the CPI-M acknowledging its secular credentials, ruled out any change saying it is well-settled in the UDF.
Speculation about a possible switch was also triggered by an observation by IUML Rajya Sabha MP Abdul Wahab while the house was discussing a private member’s bill on the uniform civil code that he did not find any Congress MP opposing the bill.
The Muslim League’s party mouthpiece Chandrika added to the heat by suggesting that the Grand Old Party needs to put its house in order to take advantage of the impressive victory in Himachal. The suggestion was prompted by differences within the state Congress over party MP Shashi Tharur’s perceived campaign to establish a new faction. Both Congress and Muslim League made light work of what they called Govindan’s ‘certificate’ and questioned the newly found love for League, recalling Pinarayi Vijayan’s stand to the contrary.
The CPI-M, including secretary Govindan, said the party never extended a welcome to the UDF constituent. It only hailed the League stand on the governor’s controversial move on the appointment of vice-chancellors of the universities.
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