Kerala

Kerala politics: Indian National League and National Secular Conference appear to part ways

An ambitious merger between the Indian National League (INL) and the National Secular Conference (NSC) at the behest of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] two years ago has turned into a damp squib as the two parties appear to be parting ways.

Both the INL, a party formed by Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait, the then national president of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) 27 years ago following the Babri Masjid demolition, and the NSC led by P.T.A. Rahim, MLA, have been feeling unpleasant about the merger that technically happened for political reasons.

The induction of INL general secretary Ahamed Devarkovil into the Pinarayi Vijayan 2.0 Cabinet has given a new lease of political life for the party. But for the NSC, it has been caught in its own web of Koduvally politics.

Even after the merger in March 2019, Mr. Rahim, a CPI (M)-backed Independent legislator from Kunnamangalam, was not a member of the INL. Similar was the case with the former Koduvally MLA, Karat Razak, who had also won as a Left-backed Independent candidate in 2016 Assembly elections.

Love-hate relationship

From the outset, the love-hate relationship between the leaders of the two political entities came to the fore despite the INL accommodating the NSC leaders into the frontline of the party. Now, these NSC leaders have become a liability for the INL, said a senior party functionary.

Certainly, this difference of opinion has been attributed to the incompatible political culture of the two parties. More than co-existing, the INL-NSC merger impacted the organisational set-up of the party as well civil polity, said a senior party leader.

Sources said that the merger, which many INL leaders believed would pave the way for expanding the anti- IUML platform, only wobbled disastrously. The victory of controversial businessman Karat Faisal, who stood as an Independent candidate from a ward in Koduvally municipality, was an embarrassment for the party as the INL nominee Abdul Rasheed polled no votes. And now, it has been caught up in a controversial Public Service Commission (PSC) membership scandal.

Revival mode

For the NSC, its leadership is planning to revive its own political entity with Koduvally-Kunnamangalam as its focus of activity even as the INL is preparing for a membership campaign. For the INL, a ‘purification’ process has already started, while for the NSC, it will revert to its own Koduvally politics. But both will remain in the Left fold.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 9:16:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-politics-indian-national-league-and-national-secular-conference-appear-to-part-ways/article35174128.ece

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