Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Several Opposition United Democratic Front members rushed into the well of the Assembly on Tuesday raising their voice in protest when Education Minister M.A. Baby expressed his “doubts about the intentions” of an ongoing agitation in Malappuram district.

Mr. Baby said the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) was trying to take political advantage in Malappuram district by “twisting” the facts relating to a proposal of Aligarh Muslim University to open a campus there. He termed the agitation on the issue “a wet firecracker,” prompting the Opposition members to walk into the well of the House protesting that Mr. Baby was not disclosing all the facts.

The issue came up in the Assembly through a submission from IUML MLA M. Ummer, who alleged that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was “trying to torpedo” the Aligarh Muslim University’s proposal to open a campus in Malappuram district. He sought to draw the government’s attention to a dharna by several Muslim organisations in the State capital on Tuesday to highlight the issue. Mr. Ummer said that the government had initially identified nearly 80 hectares of land held by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation at Panakkad in Malappuram district for the proposed campus. The Education Minister ad stated this in the Assembly during the earlier sessions.

The government subsequently selected a place called Cholamala near Perinthalmanna for the campus. This land was with private parties and in legal dispute for several years.