Political tremors of Ayodhya hit Kerala politics; IUML convenes emergency meeting

Priyanka Gandhi's comment welcoming Ayodhya event triggers Congress ally in Kerala

PTI12_23_2019_000198A [File] Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi | PTI

The political tremors of Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya has been felt in Kerala with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the prominent constituent of Congress-led UDF, holding an emergency meeting to discuss the issue. 

Though the IUML had been maintaining a studied silence on the matter, despite provocative statements by senior congress leaders like Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh, the immediate provocation for the emergency meeting was the comment made by Priyanka Gandhi on the occasion of shila pujan on Tuesday. “Ramayana has left an indelible mark on the civilization of the world and the Indian sub-continent. For ages, Lord Ram’s character has helped the Indian subcontinent… Lord Ram belongs to everybody. Lord Ram wants everybody’s welfare. That is why he is called ‘maryada purushottam’,” she had tweeted.

"We have been forced to take a position on the matter especially after Priyanka Gandhi made such a volatile comment," a young IUML leader told The WEEK before attending the meeting, being held at Malappuram. All the top IUML leaders, including Lok Sabha MP P.K. Kunhalikutty, are attending the meeting chaired by party supremo Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal. 

The young leader said that senior leadership of the IUML had already conveyed their reservations on Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh's statements to KPCC leadership. "But with Priyanka Gandhi, too, joining the Hindutva bandwagon, we have to take it more seriously," said the young leader. 

Meanwhile, AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal is learnt to have got in touch with the IUML leadership Tuesday night after the emergency meeting was convened. 

Apart from the IUML, various other Muslim organisations, including Samastha, too, have expressed their reservations about the Priyanka Gandhi's comment. 

According to political observers, the emergency meeting has been convened considering the resentment among the rank and file of the IUML over Priyanka's comment. But it is unlikely that the IUML would be taking any drastic decisions. "If IUML's history is any indication, there will be no drastic decisions. It did not leave the UDF even when Babri Masjid was demolished during a Congress government at the Centre. So, it is unlikely that they will do anything now," said Saju Madhathil, a political observer. 

Also, the fact that the IUML will not be welcomed by the LDF in the current scenario will also stop it from taking any drastic decision, he added.