Split in INL: Blow to Left Front and CPM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a quarter of a century of political co-operation and then making INL into an allied party in 2019, and giving a ministerial post in the second Pinarayi government, the fight and split in the INL have become troublesome for CPM and the LDF.

The state secretariat meeting held in Kochi yesterday as per the instructions of the Front to settle the disputes ended in a scuffle and a split in the party.

The CPM leadership is deeply dissatisfied with the developments in the INL. Earlier this month, the CPI (M) leadership warned that the Front should be protected from public show of discontent.

But the opposite happened. As the assembly session was going on, it became a fallen weapon for the opposition.

The party is led by state president Abdul Wahab and general secretary Kasim Irikur. The Kasim faction claims that the All India leadership is with them. Minister Ahmed Devarkovil is also with them. The Wahab faction claims to have a majority in the State Secretariat and the State Council.

The Left Front is likely to meet next week to discuss the INL issue. The practice of the Left Front is to exclude both factions from the front in the event of a split in the constituent party. Political Kerala is looking into whether the Front leadership will handle the issue without creating a situation where the minister has to be expelled.

It is unlikely to take back the two-and-a-half-year ministry of Ahmed Devarkovil, the party’s lone MLA. The CPM-CPI bilateral talks will be crucial in this regard.

Following the incident in Kochi, the CPM had held informal communication with top leaders. The party’s available secretariat meeting may discuss the issue the next day.

The INL was formed in Delhi on April 23, 1994, under the leadership of Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait, in protest of the League ‘s refusal to reject Congress following the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

While the League leadership is trying to dominate among Muslim organizations on the issue of minority scholarships, the CPM leadership may not be willing to reject the INL altogether.

Wahab’s party had earlier accused General Secretary Kasim Irikur of accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh for PSC membership.