Support grows for all-party meet to discuss Vadakara situation

Lok Sabha polls in the constituency had been marred by fierce cyber campaign by UDF and LDF

Updated - May 15, 2024 08:37 am IST

Published - May 14, 2024 08:35 pm IST - Kozhikode

 P.K. Kunhalikutty. File photo

P.K. Kunhalikutty. File photo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Leaders of major political parties have come out in support of the demand to hold an all-party meeting to discuss the current scenario in Vadakara against the backdrop of the vitriolic campaign there ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, and the subsequent developments recently.

It was Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] Kozhikode district secretary P. Mohanan, who revealed to a section of the media on Monday that he had spoken to P.K. Kunhalikutty, MLA, and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) national general secretary, about such an idea. According to Mr. Mohanan, the IUML, which has a strong influence in the region, could play a major role in maintaining peace and harmony there.

The Lok Sabha election in Vadakara had been marred by a fierce cyber campaign by the both the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF). Allegations and counter-allegations flew thick and fast. Legal notices were served by both the camps against each other too. On the eve of the election on April 26, a WhatsApp message with communal overtones seeking votes for Shafi Parambil, the UDF candidate, found its way on to the social media. Though the LDF blamed a Muslim Youth League (MYL) worker for this, the latter denied the charge.

After the election, both the LDF and the UDF-Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) combine held events against the alleged attempt to vitiate the socio-political atmosphere in Vadakara. A misogynist remark by RMP leader K.S. Hariharan against LDF candidate K.K. Shailaja and actor Manju Warrier at the UDF event on May 11 led to widespread criticism and an explosive substance was hurled at Mr. Hariharan’s house in Malappuram on May 12 night as well.

On May 14 (Tuesday), Panakkad Syed Sadikali Shihab Thangal, IUML State president, and Mr. Kunhalikutty welcomed the proposal to have an all-party meet. Parakkal Abdulla, IUML leader and former Kuttiyadi MLA, who was also part of the UDF campaign committee, endorsed it too. However, Mr. Kunhalikutty hastened to add that any attempt to hush up the controversy related to the WhatsApp message would not be allowed. Senior police officials have already clarified that the MYL worker had no role in the episode. The IUML leader pointed out that it can be technically proved that none of his party members were involved in creating and circulating such a message. Some of the leaders of the Muslim Students Federation, the students’ wing of the IUML, also came up with social media posts saying the all-party meet should not be used to bury the “fake WhatsApp message” controversy once and for all.

Meanwhile, the Kozhikode district Congress committee and the RMP too sought stern action against those who were behind the communal social media message. “We welcome the proposal to have an all-party meet to maintain peace there. But, it should not be at the behest of the CPI(M) district secretary, who is facing allegations over vitiating the social atmosphere in Vadakara,” K. Praveenkumar, DCC president, told The Hindu. RMP State secretary N. Venu said that there should not be any compromise on seeking action against those who created the WhatsApp message.

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