A move by a section of the Indian Union Mulsim League (IUML) leadership to forge a tactical understanding with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI)- backed Welfare Party of India (WPI) for the upcoming three-tier local bodies polls has not gone down too well with the Congress.
Voices against such a move are slowly emerging even as former KPCC president K. Muraleedharan, MP, suggested that the United Democratic Front (UDF) should continue to maintain its relationship with parties and organisations that the coalition had during the Lok Sabha polls.
Incidentally, Mr. Muraleedharan had inaugurated a district-level campaign of the WPI last month. At the same time several leaders, including former KPCC general secretary P.M. Suresh Babu, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Kozhikode Corporation, has vehemently opposed the move to have any sort of tie-up with radical outfits.
The development comes close on the heels of the IUML- backed Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama taking a critical position against the party having unethical deals with organisations propagating extremist religious and political views.
One of its prominent functionary, Umar Faizi Mukkam, who termed the WPI as a political pawn of the JEI, pointed out that such an alliance would endanger Kerala’s secular polity and pave the way for the growth of the BJP in the State.
Mr. Suresh Babu said that leaders within the UDF had been covertly and overtly hobnobbing with extremist organisations whose main agenda was to drive a wedge between the majority and minority communities. “Electoral success is an important factor. But it should not be at the cost of renouncing a coalition’s secular credentials,” he said.
KPCC vice president T. Siddique, said that the State leadership had not adopted a political line for an alliance with the WPI. “But the Congress seeking the support of the Popular Front of India and its political wing the Social Democratic Party of India is out of question,” he said.
With the powerful Sunni group opposing the IUML move to have tie-up with WPI, the Congress leadership will now have to play a pivotal role to balance its relationship with pressure groups and maintain better cooperation with its allies.
This apart, the IUML also aims for the votes of the Hindu community mainly in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur districts. Which was why the party took a different approach over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the Ayodhya verdict keeping aloof from Muslim radical outfits.