Third seat for IUML: Bilateral talks with Congress satisfactory, says Kunhalikutty

IUML national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty. Photo: Manorama

Malappuram: Indian Union Muslim League national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty on Sunday said the bilateral talks with the Congress over the former's demand for a third seat in upcoming Lok Sabha elections were satisfactory. He said the UDF allies wouldn't have to convene another meeting on the matter.

"The decisions taken during the meeting will be discussed with the Thangal (Panakkad Sadik Ali Shihab) and the party. The party leadership will meet at Panakkad on February 27 and take a final call then," said Kunhalikutty.

As per reports, the row erupted after the Congress failed to appease the League by offering a Rajya Sabha seat instead of a third Lok Sabha seat. However, as per reports, the IUML may take up Congress on the Rajya Sabha offer. 

Having expressed their disappointment with the Congress, the League even hinted at plans to face the polls independently if the front rejected the demand for a third seat. IUML has been contesting two seats in Malappuram district-Ponnani and Malappuram for a long time. It is learnt that the party is eyeing its third seat in Wayanad, Vadakara or Kasaragod in the upcoming polls.

Their demand got a boost when KPCC general secretary K C Venugopal recently said that IUML has the right to stake a claim for a third seat in the polls.

CPM, BJP join in
When Congress landed on a tight spot over the issue, CPM leaders also came forward justifying IUML's claim for a third seat. LDF convener E P Jayarajan said that the League was not getting due consideration in UDF despite being the strongest party in Kerala. He commented that the Muslim League may win more seats if they dare to contest polls independently. Minister P Rajeeve also extended support to IUML and said that the party is only asking for three seats to contest despite having one-third of the seats in the opposition benches in the assembly.

However, the BJP called the move suicidal. "There are hints that the Congress is planning to surrender to the IUML's demand by relinquishing the Kannur seat held by Congress' state chief (K Sudhakaran). Of course, it's their politics. But such a move is suicidal. Both the Congress leaders and followers should think over whether bowing down before communal forces should help the party or not," BJP state spokesperson K V S Haridas said recently.

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