League loath to lay off romancing NDF

via Courtesy: M P Prashanth - www.expressbuzz.com published on December 20, 2008

KOZHIKODE: The march to the Public Service Commission office in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday has proved, if indeed proof were needed, that the Muslim League’s opposition to the National Development Front is only for public consumption.

The party took the absurd stand of asking its leaders to stay away from the NDF-sponsored programme even while exhorting its cadres to make the march a big success.

Not just that. IUML state secretaries E T Muhammad Basheer and Kutty Ahamed Kutty expressed solidarity with the march at its starting point and let others know where their heart is.

The developments in Thiruvananthapuram attest to one thing: that the IUML is not ready to sever ties with the NDF, even if it means antagonising its supporters. The IUML did not care for the opposition to the march voiced by Samastha Kerala Jem-Iyyathul Ulema, the Sunni organisation that has stood behind the League during various crises.

League’s attitude towards the NDF has always been ambivalent. It has tried to distance from the NDF when there have been strong reactions against the latter, but has always continued a secret alliance.

In the aftermath of Nadapuram violence, then IUML general secretary Korambayil Ahamed Haji declared that NDF was an extremist organisation and asserted that no NDF worker would be allowed to remain in the League.

But things changed with P K Kunhalikutty taking over. The dual membership issue was sidelined and the thin line that divided the NDF and the IUML cadres started to blur. Kunhalikutty and other League MLAs made a move to have criminal cases against NDF workers in Malappuram district withdrawn.

The relationship became even more warm when Kunhalikutty got entangled in the ice-cream case. NDF workers were in the forefront of organising receptions to him at various parts of north Kerala.

NDF cadres burned copies of the ‘Thejas’ biweekly before it hit the stands as it inadvertently ran an article against Kunhalikutty.

There were allegations that the latter opposed the CBI probe into the Marad case at the NDF’s behest.

On the other hand, the Muslim Youth League and the SKSSF have been vociferous in challenging the NDF. Former SKSSF general secretary Abdul Hameed Faizi Ambalakkadavu even wrote a book ‘Why NDF Should be Opposed’ and the MYL launched a campaign against “extremism in the community”.

But these did not prevent the League from continuing its affair with the NDF.

Now things have come to a stage where the League will be forced to spell out its stand vis-a-vis NDF. Sources say the SKSSF may ask the IUML leadership to clarify whether it is with the Sunni organisation or with the NDF. 

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