Communist Party of India (CPI) national council member and State Housing Board chairman M. Rahmatulla who quit the CPI and joined the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) here on Tuesday said his resignation was in protest against the CPI's failure to protect minority interests.

Mr. Rahmatulla, who accepted the IUML membership from party State president Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, said the CPI leadership never listened to his complaints.

Admitting that the decision to join the IUML was rather impulsive, Mr. Rahmatulla said he never set his eyes on politics of power. He said social justice, which was as significant as class struggle for the CPI, had become a matter to be read in party textbooks.

“Many times I have criticised the party's neglect towards religious minorities during the 38 years I worked for the CPI,” he said.

He said none of the four CPI Ministers in the outgoing Cabinet was a Muslim. He accused the party of neglecting minorities whenever it came to power. “None of the 27 candidates the party chose at first for the Assembly elections was a Muslim. Only after we complained, Muslim candidates were chosen for Tirurangadi and Eranad, two constituencies with no victory chances,” he said.

He said he was quitting the party because his struggles for the minority cause did not yield any result.

He said the CPI(M) should be asked why the CPI candidate had been pushed to the fourth place at Eranad. “The CPI(M) is leading the front. The CPI leadership should show guts to ask that party for the failure at Eranad,” he said.

Mr. Rahmatulla said the Left had lost relevance like in many socialist countries. “This is where the IUML is important. It upholds secular values even while voicing for the rights of minorities,” he said.