Muslim League leaders meet archbishop in Kerala, extend X'mas greetings
A delegation of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) led by its national General Secretary, P.K. Kunhalikutty, and Muslim Youth League chief, Sadik Ali Shihab Thangal, met the Thamarassery Archbishop, Remigios Inchananiyil, and extended Christmas greetings to the community.
The Muslim League has taken a major decision to field Kunhalikutty in the ensuing Assembly elections after he quits his Lok Sabha seat.
The recent local body elections have created a dent in the traditional United Democratic Front (UDF) vote bank in Central Kerala. The exit of Kerala Congress (Mani) from the UDF and switching over to the Left Front has led to a major reduction in the traditional vote bank of the UDF, which was predominantly Christian votes.
Of late, the Christian community has been complaining that 80 per cent of the minority education grants in the state is being sanctioned to the Muslim community and the Christian community is receiving only 20 per cent of the share. This has led to a friction between the Muslims and the Christians at the grassroots level. The meeting of Kunhalikutty and his team of Muslim League leaders with the Thamarassery Archbishop is seen as a major step towards defusing this apprehenshion.
In addition, Muslim League youth leader Sadik Ali Shihab Thangal wrote an article in the party's mouthpiece 'Chandrika' saying the Hagia Sofia museum was indeed a mosque, which again created a fissure between the Muslim and the Christian communities. Kunhalikutty is a master operator for the Muslim League and the UDF which is another reason for this meeting with the Catholic clergy.
The Congress-led UDF is already in a crisis following the unexpected victory of the ruling Left Front in the recent local body polls and with the state elections due in a few months, the Muslim League has started troubleshooting to defuse the issues with the Christian community.
In a related political development, the Muslim League National Organising Secretary E.T. Mohammed Basheer said P.K. Kunhalikutty is quitting the Lok Sabha seat and shifting his base to the state for the sake of the UDF and not for the Muslim League alone.
While speaking to IANS, Basheer said, "The Muslim League is a political party with a secular outlook and in the ensuing Assembly elections, we will be bargaining for more Assembly seats. Bargaining for more seats is the duty of a political party and this has always been the political line of the Muslim League." - IANS