Congress, IUML hold talks in Kerala to end discord

May 26th, 2008 - 6:46 pm ICT by admin  

Malappuram (Kerala), May 26 (IANS) Central minister and Congress leader Vayalar Ravi Monday met Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) Kerala state president Panakkad Muhammedali Shihab Thangal to sort out differences between the two parties that are part of the state’s main opposition United Democratic Front (UDF). “We feel that statements that will negatively affect the UDF alliance should not be made,” Parliamentary Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Ravi told mediapersons after the talks.

He said he would apprise the party’s state leadership about his discussions.

The discord between the two parties arose after Congress leader Aryadan Muhammed, who is a legislator from Malappuram district - an IUML stronghold - criticised the Muslim League last month.

IUML state general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty said Saturday that his party was not getting a fair treatment within the UDF.

Following Muhammed’s comments, the IUML lodged a formal complaint with the state Congress leadership but it did not deter the veteran leader from further attacking that party.

Later, his son Aryadan Shaukath, president of Nilambur village council in the district, made comments against the family of Shihab Thangal, the IUML state president and spiritual leader. This angered the IUML further.

Shaukath reportedly said the police drive against fake ‘godmen’ in Kerala should also include the Thangal family. It led to street protests by Muslim League activists who set fire to a Congress office at Nadapuram, 70 km from Kozhikode, Saturday night.

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