Muslim League sees plot to brand it as communal

The Congress leadership went the extra mile to assuage the feelings of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) at Monday’s United Democratic Front (UDF) liaison committee meeting by assuring its leaders that the coalition would protect the party from insinuations about its political positions.

IUML leaders E.T. Mohammed Basheer, K.P.A. Majeed, and others aired the lack of security the party experienced owing to a ‘conspiracy’ by certain quarters to brand it as a communal outfit. The IUML leaders reiterated their party’s stand that it stood for eco-friendly development that would protect the environment, but unfortunately the party was being targeted at as a protagonist of the so-called land mafia. They expressed strong reservations at the inability of the UDF to protect their party.

At one point of time, the IUML leaders went to the extent of stating that they were not averse to the idea of pulling out of the coalition and supporting the government from outside if these attempts continued.

The IUML leaders presented their party’s stand as per a decision taken by the party’s working committee. Interestingly, the IUML leaders held a separate meeting just before the UDF liaison committee began its session in the morning.

At the meeting, Congress leaders urged all constituents to conduct introspection in view of the fact that the UDF had only a slender majority. There was no real reason for the IUML to experience a sense of insecurity. The Congress party had to sacrifice a lot for the sake of the coalition’s stability. It had not got its requisite share in corporations and boards, yet it did not pose as a big brother, they said.

Education front

There were several complaints about the manner in which the Education Department was being handled. Such complaints did not figure when the IUML presided over the portfolio on previous occasions when the UDF was in power. “If complaints have come up now, it could only mean that something was wrong somewhere in the affairs of the department,” the Congress leaders said, emphasising the need for coalition partners to conduct a self-analysis.

Sources said that several leaders pointed out the lack of proper discussions either by the respective parties or within the UDF before policies were formulated and crucial decisions taken. For example, land was a major issue as far as Kerala was concerned. The quotient for controversy was very high if proper discussions were not held prior to taking decisions, it was pointed out.

Replying to questions on the IUML’s positions at a press conference here, UDF convener P.P. Thankachan said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala had assured the IUML leadership that their issues would be properly addressed.