Malappuram: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) decided not to join issue with the Congress over Congress state president K Sudhakaran's 'pro RSS' statements after its ally said the "mistake" will not be repeated.
The IUML made its stance clear on the raging controversy after a meeting of the party's top leaders in Malappuram on Wednesday.
The meeting was chaired by IUML's state president Panakkad Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, IUML state general secretary P M A Salam said the party did not have the opinion that the Congress should change its president in the state. "The new leadership of the Congress has given great hope to Kerala society. The League wants it to continue," he said.
The IUML measured statement comes after Sudhakaran called Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal and senior leader P K Kunhalikutty. "He called Panakkad Thangal and Kunhalikutty and said he made a mistake," Salam said.
Congress national general secretary K C Venugopal and leader of the opposition V D Satheesan also spoke to the leadership of the IUML and assured them that there would be no more statements from Sudhakaran that would give credence to the RSS.
Sudhakaran waded into a controversy when he said on November 9 that the Congress workers had given protection to 'shakhas' (branches) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which were under attack from CPM cadres in Kannur district.
Before the controversy died, Sudhakaran said on November 14, Jawaharlal Nehru's 134th birth anniversary, that the first prime minister showed 'magnanimity' in including Jan Sangh leader Shyama Prasad Mookerjee in his first cabinet.
This irked IUML's senior leader M K Muneer who called up Sudhakaran seeking an explanation for his statements "giving legitimacy to the RSS".
Later, the MLA told reporters that the IUML could not accept the justification given by Sudhakaran.
Muneer also recalled the words of Rahul Gandhi during Bharat Jodo Yatra that there was no space in the Congress for people with the mindset of the RSS.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also fire salvos at the Congress and Sudhakaran. He accused Sudhakaran of being a Sangh Parivar follower in the garb of a Congressman.
He said the Congress president's liking for the RSS reflected the political decadence in the party.
Much earlier, Sudhakaran responded to a question from a reporter with a retort that he would join the BJP if he wanted to.
Each time, senior Congress leaders rushed in with fire buckets and controlled the damage.
On Wednesday, a couple of news channels reported that Sudhakaran had written to party leader Rahul Gandhi expressing his willingness to step down as the party's state president.
Sudhakaran issued a press statement dismissing the reports as fake news.
Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and party leader Ramesh Chennithala also dismissed the reports and threw their weight behind Sudhakaran.
Satheesan said the media was peddling fake news to divert the attention of the people from the CPM-controlled government's illegal appointments in universities and government departments.