Kozhikode

Minor parties may upset IUML calculations

The presence of the minor Muslim political parties such as the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Welfare Party of India (WPI) appears to be complicating the calculations of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in the just-concluded Assembly polls.

Neither the SDPI nor the WPI is aligned with the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) or the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). However, both these parties have vowed that their main purpose would be to defeat the BJP in their strongholds.

The SDPI, the political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), has fielded 43 candidates while the WPI of the Jamaat Islami Hind, has fielded 19 candidates. However, the IUML leaders fear that the presence of the SDPI candidates might upset the calculations of the party in some of the Assembly constituencies in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

Traditional rivals

Incidentally, they point out that they have no apprehension about its traditional rivals, the Indian National League (INL), a split away faction of the party.

The IUML is in direct fight with the INL in the three seats the Left parties had allotted to that party, namely Kasaragod, Kozhikode South, and Vallikunnu Assembly segments. This is apart from two legislators of the defunct National Secular Conference, now contesting as LDF-backed independents in Koduvally and Kunnamangalam.

The party has been maintaining a delicate balancing act even as the SDPI and the WPI have been showing an upsurge politically and electorally in recent times. Evidently, the party is also facing a continuous erosion in its support base.

Campaign

Despite its spirited campaigns and projecting itself as a voice of Muslims against radicalism, the IUML has not successfully won over the loyalty of the community in Central Travancore and southern districts. Another Muslim political entity, the People’s Democratic Party, is seemingly competent in highlighting issues concerning the Muslim community.

Local body polls

In the local body polls held in December 2020, the IUML secured 9.06 % of the popular votes. The share of the INL (0.66 %), SDPI (0.63 %), WPI (0.15%) and PDP (0.12 %) caused minimal damage to the IUML. However, the WPI had a tacit understanding with the UDF in many places in the polls which remained a controversial topic in the run-up to the Assembly polls.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 5:34:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/minor-parties-may-upset-iuml-calculations/article34339724.ece

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