The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Congress have decided on a series of short-term measures to arrest their relations from getting deteriorated, in the interest of the stability of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF). As the first step, the leadership of the two parties on Tuesday declared a clampdown on verbal sparring in public, which, they fear, would widen the differences.
The leaders of the two parties spent the entire day discussing ways to prevent a total collapse of their relations, triggered by some offhand remarks of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala at a function in Kozhikode recently. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Mr. Chennithala, and UDF convener P.P. Thankachan met at the KPCC office in the morning. Following this, the Chief Minister held a round of discussion with IUML leaders P.K. Kunhalikutty and K.P.A. Majeed. The positive outcome of the exercise was the decision to continue the talks in the evening, with the KPCC president on board.
Emerging from the meeting, Mr. Kunhalikutty said it was not an easy task to settle the problems in the UDF. Party workers have been asked to desist from taking provocative actions that would mar the relations with the Congress. At the meeting, Mr. Chennithala is understood to have sought the IUML leaders’ explanation for running a campaign even after he had issued a clarification on his Kozhikode remarks.