Efforts on to end rift in INL

Kanthapuram donning the role of mediator

July 31, 2021 08:16 pm | Updated 08:16 pm IST - Kozhikode

A truce is in the offing between the two rival groups in the State unit of the Indian National League (INL) with prominent Sunni faction led by Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar, who is known to be close to the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) leadership, donning the role of a mediator.

Mediatory talks held between INL general secretary Kasim Irikkur and A.P. Abdul Hakeem Azhari, general secretary of the Suni Yuvajana Sangham and son of Aboobacker Musliar, in Kozhikode on Saturday have sent a signal that the Sunni faction is pressuring the warring INL State leaders to bridge the rift in the party. Rival leaders Mr. Irikkur and party State president A.P. Abdul Wahab have indicated that a reconciliation is on the cards.

The rift in the INL, which is part of the LDF, imploded in public when members of the rival groups clashed at a hotel in Kochi on July 25 after a meeting convened to discuss internal organisational issues.

Subsequently, Mr. Wahab and Mr. Irikkur expelled each other from the party. Both sides signalled their intention to work for a truce following the Communist Party of India (Marxist) State leadership’s reported warningthat the factional feud is indefensible.

“During our talks with Mr. Azhari, we gave the assurance that we are ready for reconciliation and the other side [led by Mr. Wahab] is also open for discussions,” Mr. Irikkur told The Hindu after the talks. He said he had promised that old issues that triggered the rift would not be brought on the table during the conciliatory talks.

Mr. Irikkur, who was accompanied by INL leaders B. Hamza Haji and M.A. Latheef, said the party would not compromise on organisational discipline. It would take the clashes in Kochi seriously as they had damaged the image of the party, he added.

When contacted, Mr. Wahab said his side had also conveyed a willingness for reconciliation. “We have expressed our readiness for compromise and urged Ahammad Devarkovil [the INL nominee in the LDF Ministry] to take the initiative for a reproachment,” he said.

The mediation of the Sunni faction is expected to kick-start parleys within the INL to end the disunity in the leadership over issues, including the appointment of CPI(M) workers in the personal staff of Mr. Devarkovil, and an allegation that he had accepted ₹3 lakh from Indian Union Muslim League MP and businessman P.V. Abdul Wahab for his election campaign in the Kozhikode South Assembly constituency in the Assembly election.

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