Kerala

Waqf Board row draws Samastha closer to LDF

Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulema president Syed Mohammed Jifri Muthukoya Thangal  

The row over the move to entrust the Waqf Board appointments to Public Service Commission (PSC) has seemingly drawn the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML)-backed Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulema closer to the Left Democratic Front government with the leaders of Sunni faction directly holding talks with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the issue on Tuesday.

Much to the IUML’s embarrassment, Samastha leaders led by general secretary K. Alikutty Musliyar held discussions with Mr. Vijayan who has assured them that a status quo would be maintained till a final decision was taken.

The development assumes significance as the IUML along with other Muslim organisations had decided to use Friday gatherings in mosques to campaign against the government move on Waqf Board.

IUML U-turn

The IUML had temporarily taken a U-turn, even as its leaders claimed that the talks remained inconclusive and demanded withdrawal of the decision. Meanwhile, the Muslim coordination committee, which includes IUML too, took out a rally in Kozhikode to protest against the move on Waqf Board recruitments.

In fact, the parley between the influential Samastha leaders and Mr. Vijayan on Tuesday was not the first time.

On earlier occasions too they had held direct talks with CPI(M) leaders on various issues pertaining to the Muslim community, including when the Kerala High Court quashed the order of the Kerala Directorate of Minority Welfare Board distributing scholarships to Muslim and Latin Catholic and Converted Christian students at the ratio of 80:20 in May.

The rival Sunni faction led by Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar already has a cordial relationship with the CPI(M).

Political agenda

Though the CPI(M) State leadership has a bigger political agenda on its cards as the Muslim community has traditionally been the bulwark of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) base in the State.

Incidentally Samastha president Syed Mohammed Jifri Muthukoya Thangal, who had announced at meeting of Muthavallis (managing trustees of waqf) and office-bearers of Mahal Madrasas in Kozhikode last week that the Chief Minister had called him over phone to discuss the issue, had also clarified the talks should not be construed otherwise.

As an emissary of the Chief Minister, CPI(M) Central committee member Elamaram Karim, MP, also had deliberated with the Samastha leaders.

Quite often, the IUML and the Samastha leadership are caught in a love-hate relationship though the IUML State president Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal is also the vice president of the Mushwara (supreme body) of the Samastha.

After Jifri Muthukoya Thangal came to the helm of the organisation, the Samastha reaffirmed its political independence from the IUML.

Notably, the Samastha had lashed out at the CPI(M) for ‘creating a communal divide in the State’ when party leaders stated that the IUML was taking over the leadership of the UDF before the Assembly polls.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 2:12:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/waqf-board-row-draws-samastha-closer-to-ldf/article37884792.ece

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