Cong, CPM vying to woo Muslim voters

via www.dailypioneer.com published on February 7, 2006


Pioneer News Service/ Thiruvananthapuram


The coming days shall witness an intense wooing of Muslim votes by the Congress and the CPI(M) , as they account for over 23 per cent of Kerala’s population


The Narendran Commission report, the Iran issue and anti-US propaganda are going to occupy centre-stage in the State, where only a 100 days are left for elections to the Assembly.


The Congress-led United Democratic Front will claim that it had fulfilled its commitment to the Muslim community by implementing the recommendations of the Narendran Commission report


The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, to counter the Congress claim, is expected to raise the issue of India‘s vote against Iran and the anti-US tirade in its effort to win over Muslim votes.


Initially, the Left parties had countered the Congress propaganda on the successful implementation of the Narendran Commission report by pointing out that the ruling UDF was idle over its recommendations for the last four and a half years.


But the Left now feels that the pro-Iran and anti-US stands are better weapons to win over the Muslims than the Narendran Commission report.


The CPI(M) had an electoral victory earlier by playing a similar card – EMS‘ continued propaganda against the United States in the Iraq war had helped the Left emerge victorious in the 1990 district panchayat elections


At that time, EMS had successfully avoided mention of Iraq‘s invasion of another Muslim country, Kuwait, which was the prime reason for the war.


A circular issued by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee to all grassroots-level units has directed the party workers to visit each home and inform them of the party’s commitment to the minorities by implementing the recommendations of the Narendran Commission Report.


Political observers feel that the Left has a clear advantage over its rivals in wooing Muslim voters.


More than the Congress, the Muslim League, a major constituent of the UDF, is worried over the Left parties’ intense ‘sympathy’ for Iran.


Though the Muslim League leadership is buoyant over the UDF Government’s decisions on the Narendran Commission Report, the unexpected debacle the party suffered in the Manjeri Lok Sabha at the hands of the LDF is still a cause for concern.

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