Eerie calm in Kerala's resurgent Muslim League

Eerie calm in Kerala's resurgent Muslim League

 P K Kunhalikutty and Dr M K Muneer Even though the IUML is all set to stage a comeback from the wounds inflicted by the 2006 drubbing, the party will have to contend with the worsening relations between two of its top leaders, M K Muneer and general secretary P K Kunhalikutty. Muneer is contesting from Kozhikode South and Kunhalikutty is seeking election from Vengara in Malappuram district.

It was a sting operation by the news channel headed by  Muneer which sounded the bugle for the fresh round of war in the party. Kunhalikutty’s name was dragged again to the 15-year-old icecream parlour sex racket case in the sting conducted by India Vision which shows public prosecutor claiming that he had personally seen bribe being handed over to a high court judge by Kunhalikutty’s aide to hush up his links. Muneer who is the son of former chief minister C H Muhammed Koya told Deccan Herald that he had nothing to do with the sting and that he had given total journalistic freedom to the channel.

However, few believe his claims and even suspect that he was part of a conspiracy hatched by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan’s office. There are fears that forces in the IUML have been working overtime to ensure Muneer’s defeat. On his part, Achuthanandan has been going hammer and tongs at the IUML and UDF on the sex racket case. On Thursday, a huge crowd attended Achuthanandan’s public meeting at Vengara giving jitters to the IUML camp.

Muneer claimed that there were no differences between him and Kunhalikutty and that the channel he headed has also not been acting as a mouthpiece for the chief minister.  
Meanwhile, the party looks all set to emerge as an influential force in the post-poll scenario behind the Congress and the CPM. In 2006, the party bit the dust with just seven of its 23 candidates managing to stem the anti-UDF wave. It recovered lost ground in the elections to Lok Sabha and panchayats by which time the LDF’s stocks had gone down.

What has made matters favourable for the party now is the increased number of constituencies in Malappuram district. The district now has 16 constituencies after delimitation. The party which is contesting 24 seats is set to garner not less than 18 seats. 

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