In Kerala, CPM slams secret SDPI-IUML talks

A rumoured secret meeting between leaders of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Malappuram recently has provoked a sharp reaction from the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kodiyeri Balakrishnan slammed the clandestine conference as a pitiful attempt on the part of the United Democratic Front (UDF) to play the communal card in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The LDF independent candidate from Ponnani, P. V. Anwar, had spotlighted the meeting. He alleged that UDF convenor Benny Behanan and IUML leader E. T. Muhammad Basheer had held secret parleys with SDPI State president P. Abdul Majeed Faisy in Ponnani.

Mr. Balakrishnan said the SDPI was notorious for its radical views and actions. The UDF has attempted a covert tie-up with the revisionist group to woo votes. He alleged the UDF has also tried to strike election deals with Sangh Parivar forces at the local level to boost the chances of its candidates. The opportunistic political alliance did not augur well for secular society, he cautioned.

IUML leader P. K. Kunhallikutty dismissed Mr. Balakrishnan’s charges. He said Mr. Basheer has clarified that he had accidentally run into Mr. Faisy at a restaurant. “They merely exchanged pleasantries. There is nothing more to the chance encounter,” he said.

However, Mr. Faisy struck a different tack. He said he had discussed politics with Mr. Basheer. The SDPI was talking to all parties and not the IUML alone given the political situation at the national level, he added.

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