The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leadership prefers to play the entire issue of installing a Deputy Chief Minister in the Oommen Chandy Cabinet by ear, without spelling out its stand on the issue, but dropping sufficient hints about its line of thinking.

IUML State general secretary E.T. Mohammed Basheer, addressing a press conference after the party’s State secretariat meeting here on Thursday, maintained that there was no move to create the post of Deputy Chief Minister and that the party would not hesitate to stake its claims to the post if such a situation arose. The IUML State secretariat meeting was attended by State president Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, national president and Union Minister of State of External Affairs E. Ahamed, and other party leaders.

Mr. Basheer said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had clarified at Thursday’s meeting of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) that the Congress party had neither discussed the Deputy Chief Minister’s issue nor had it taken any decision on this. In this context, the party did not have to respond to an issue which was hypothetical. Mr. Basheer, who was accompanied by another State general secretary K.P.A. Majeed, pointed out that the entire issue was something which had to be first worked out by the Congress party, prior to discussing it in the UDF committee.

He said the IUML wanted to have cordial relations with the Nair Service Society (NSS) and the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam.

The UDF should sort out any issues these organisations might have. There was no basis for the allegation of NSS general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair that the IUML was wrongfully wresting huge concessions from the government.