Stakes high for minor Muslim parties

Kozhikode An uphill battle awaits minor parties opposing the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in the coming three-tier local body polls in December.

The rise and decline of these small parties that are known to have been propagating the cause of the Muslim community have fluctuated the fortunes of the IUML in every election. This time too they have high stakes in their own pockets of influence.

The Indian National League (INL), which has been inducted into the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front, is hoping to get a share of the Muslim votes in the Malabar region. The party exudes confidence of winning more seats with the amalgamation of the 25-year-old party with the National Secular Conference (NSC) led by P.T.A. Rahim, MLA.

Both parties have a common factor: of building their bases after revolting against the IUML leadership. Even then, the merger that happened a year ago has not gone down well, as the NSC sticks to its own politics confined to the Koduvally-Kunnamangalam region in Kozhikode district.

WPI overtures

The Welfare Party of India (WPI) of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, which has made local-level electoral understandings with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), has been in the electoral race from the Lok Sabha polls of 2014. Earlier, the party had been overtly and covertly supporting the Left Democratic Front, but made a U-turn in the Lok Sabha polls of 2019.

Likewise, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political arm of the Popular Front of India (earlier National Development Front), and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Abdul Nasir Maudany stand independently without aligning with the two main coalitions. Their alternative political approach apparently seems to have waned over the years for various reasons, without getting support from the conservative Muslim electorate.

All these parties have confined themselves to their influential turfs, without having a pan-Kerala dominance. Interestingly, in the 2015 polls, the SDPI won 40 seats, including seven from municipalities and one from a Corporation. Also, nominees of the PDP got elected from eight wards while the WPI won in seven wards.

Cut to the 2016 Assembly polls, none of these parties won a single seat. Nevertheless, the INL secured 0.56%, SDPI 0.61%, WPI 0.31%, and PDP 0.24% of the popular votes. Significantly, the IUML won 18 seats and the NSC, one.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 7:57:00 AM |

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