CPM’s Invite to IUML for Pro-Palestine Rally Sparks Political Tensions

CPM's Strategic Move to Divide UDF Faces Decline, Leaving Kerala's Political Landscape in Flux

The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM has failed to woo the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a key ally of the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), to join its pro-Palestine rally in Kozhikode on November 11. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the rally.

The CPM had invited the IUML to the rally, hoping to create a rift in the UDF and weaken the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The CPM, which has often attacked the IUML as a “communal” party and accused it of being soft on extremist elements, had changed its stance and welcomed the IUML’s support for the Palestinian cause.

The CPM’s district secretary, P. Mohanan, had said that the IUML would be invited to the rally and appreciated the statement made by IUML leader E.T. Mohammed Basheer that they would attend the event if invited.

The CPM’s overture to the IUML came after the controversy that erupted when Congress MP Shashi Tharoor called Hamas a terrorist group at a pro-Palestine rally organized by the IUML last week. The CPM had seized the opportunity to project itself as a more genuine and consistent supporter of the Palestinian cause and to expose the Congress’s double standards and vote-bank politics.

The CPM also hoped to capitalize on the success of its anti-Uniform Civil Code (UCC) campaign, which saw the massive participation of various Muslim organizations and groups.

However, the IUML has tactfully declined the CPM’s invitation and said it will not attend the rally due to technical reasons. The IUML leaders have also clarified that participating in the rally does not mean leaving the UDF or joining hands with the CPM. They have said that the Palestine issue is an international human rights issue and not a political one and that they have the right to take their stand on it.

The Congress, on the other hand, has expressed its displeasure and uneasiness over the CPM’s overtures to the IUML and has tried to dissuade the latter from attending the rally. The Congress leaders, including Ramesh Chennithala and V.D. Satheesan, have called the IUML leaders and reminded them of their long-standing alliance and friendship in the UDF. They have also defended Tharoor’s remarks and said that they do not reflect the official position of the party on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The CPM has not given up on its efforts to woo the IUML and has extended a fresh invitation to the party on Sunday. The CPM state secretary, M.V. Govindan, has also invited Aryadan Shoukath, a Congress leader and son of former minister Aryadan Mohammed, to the rally. Shoukath had earlier expressed his support for the Palestinian cause and criticized Tharoor’s statement.

It remains to be seen whether the CPM’s invitation will impact the IUML or the UDF or whether it will be a futile exercise. The political scenario in Kerala is likely to witness more twists and turns in the coming days.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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