Cong's bid to plug leaks in Muslim voters in Kerala

Congress's desperate bid to plug leaks in Muslim vote bank in Kerala

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (Photo Credit: PTI)

The Congress in Kerala is in a desperate bid to plug leaks in its Muslim vote bank as the CPM-led left front, especially Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was gaining more support from Muslim community with the strong stands against CAA.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi's participation in an anti-CAA protest in Kerala on Thursday and stepping-up allegations of Pinarayi Vijayan's BJP nexus could be considered as Congress's counter strategies to protect its Muslim vote bank.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front, with the Indian Union Muslim League as a key partner, has been enjoying electoral support of the Muslim community, which comes to over 26 percent of Kerala's population. The massive victory of Rahul in the Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad was also credited to the Muslim vote banks.

However,  Pinarayi Vijayan's strong stands against CAA had caused genuine concerns in Congress camps that the left-front was making inroads into the Muslim vote banks. Participation of a good number of persons from Muslim community, including women and even IUML local leaders, aggravated the concern. Many Congress leaders, including K Muraleedharan MP, had openly cautioned the party leadership about the cracks in its vote banks.

Hence the Congress state leadership was learnt to have insisted on Rahul Gandhi's participation in the anti-CAA protests in Kerala on Thursday as an effort to reinforce its support from the Muslim community. The UDF camps were trying to ensure maximum participation of leaders of various Muslim outfits in the stir.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who had been strongly criticising the anti-CAA steps of the Kerala government, stated in the Assembly on Wednesday that despite his dissent to the anti-CAA remarks in the policy address he would read it as per the Chief Minister's wish. This indeed became a shot in the arm for the Congress camps as they stepped up allegation of nexus between Mr. Vijayan and the BJP leadership.  Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the Chief Minister made a secret pact with the BJP to settle a CBI corruption case against him pertaining to a deal with Canadian firm SNC Lavalin.