Staff Reporter

MALAPPURAM: The death of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) national president G.M. Banatwala in Mumbai was widely condoled by party leaders here on Wednesday.

Syed Saiqali Shihab Thangal, IUML leader and former president of the Muslim Youth League, described the death of Mr. Banatwala as a great loss to national politics.

He said Mr. Banatwala had exceptionally clear perception on minority politics. As an MP for seven terms, he outshone many politicians in dealing with minority issues at national level, he said.

Abdurahman Randathani, IUML MLA from Tanur, described Mr. Banatwala as one of the best parliamentarians in India. “He could convert even a private bill into a Parliamentary law… such was his calibre as a parliamentarian,” said Mr. Randathani.

Although he hailed from Mumbai, Mr. Banatwala established a solid link with the people of Kerala, he said. According to Mr. Randathani, Mr. Banatwala was a person whose heart always exuded warmth and cheer. “He loved the people of Kerala,” he said.

V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, IUML MLA from Mattanchery, said that the Muslim community lost a great leader. “He was a dedicated leader who could handle any matter concerning the minorities, particularly the Muslim community, with confidence,” said Mr. Kunju.