Induction of INL into Kerala Cabinet is more political than meets the eye

Ahamed Deverkovil, Minister-designate in the new LDF Cabinet in Kerala, with his family in Kozhikode recently.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The induction of Ahamed Devarkovil, the lone legislator of the Indian National League (INL), into the Pinarayi Vijayan 2.0 Cabinet in Kerala has revealed that there is more to it than meets the eye.

For the INL, its general secretary getting a berth is beyond a mere recognition for the 27-year-old party that broke away from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) following the Babri Masjid demolition.

Even before the formal induction of the party into the Left Democratic Front (LDF) prior to the three-tier local body polls, the CPI(M) has been experimenting with wooing the disgruntled elements in the IUML. That alliance has also unexpectedly yielded impressive gains in the elections.

Also, without the merger of the INL and the National Secular Conference, led by P.T.A. Rahim, MLA, the CPI (M) has been pursuing the Muslim electorate in Kozhikode as well as in the neighbouring districts.

Like the previous Assembly polls held in 2016, the INL contested three seats, one each in Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Kasaragod districts. If the party lost all three seats last time, it captured the Kozhikode South segment now.

Stronger political ties

The CPI (M) leadership believes that a stronger political relationship with the INL is the surest means and advantageous approach to get to the Muslim voter where the IUML has a sway in regions in north Kerala.

In a sense, Mr. Devarkovil was a dark horse from the time of the Assembly polls. He was unexpectedly nominated to the contest, but he wrested the seat from the IUML, which the party has been winning twice in a row.

And his Cabinet induction, sources said, has been aimed at expanding the base of the Left parties. Supporting independent Muslim candidates may have all along improved the community diplomacy of the CPI(M) in the Assembly polls. But a firmly established political alliance will pave the way for futuristic electoral gains.

Bitter feud

Already, the IUML State leadership is locked in a bitter feud with its middle and lower rungs leaders over the selection of candidates in the local body polls as well as the Assembly elections. The defeat of Noorbina Rasheed, a woman candidate fielded by the party after a span of 25 years, in the Kozhikode South constituency was emblematic of the power struggle and hostility within the party, the sources said.

Incidentally, the INL got its first MLA when P.M.A. Salam won from Kozhikode-II segment (Now Kozhikode South) in 2006. But he left the party and joined the IUML after he mooted an idea to merger the INL with the IUML.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 6:21:29 PM |

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