Muslim League slams Chennithala for remarks

Kozhikode, June 30 (IANS) The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) called an emergency meeting Sunday and criticised state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala for his anti-IUML remarks.

Chennithala earlier Saturday said that the IUML was a party that would “always extract more and more from the Congress” and would eventually become a “liability” for the party. IUML is the second-biggest constituent of the Congress-led ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and also the government in Kerala.

IUML leader and Lok Sabha member E.T. Mohammed Basheer said after the meeting: “The United Democratic Front (UDF) is one for all and the Congress has the responsibility to keep it going. The Congress can decide if it needs to go ahead. We will make our stand clear shortly.”

To mollify the IUML, Chennithala issued a clarification soon after his statement.

He said he had only aired what former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president C.K. Govindan Nair had stated many years ago.

Not pleased with the events, the IUML has called another meeting of its leaders Thursday to take stock of the situation and assess Chennithala’s statements.

Sources in the IUML said that Ahmed Patel, secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has asked IUML chief Panakad Hyderali Shiyab Thangal not to take any “hard decisions”.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is facing the heat after one of his staffers was sent to judicial custody Saturday for having links with a con-couple, said the media had twisted Chennithala’s statement.

“The IUML is an integral part of the UDF and the Congress will never do anything to afflict pain on its allies,” Chandy said.

Chennithala fell out with the IUML ever since they poured cold water on his eagerness to become deputy chief minister.

However, he seems to have some support from the Congress. State Power Minister and Congress leader Aryadan Mohammed, who has a long-standing strife with the IUML, said: “It is now that you (Chennithala) are the real president of the Congress.”

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