Amid minor calls for reforms to revive the party’s dwindling electoral fortunes, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) decided to maintain a status quo in its leadership with the State council meeting on Saturday re-electing Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal as State president and P.M.A. Salam as general secretary.
The re-election of Thangal, who took over the reins of the party last year after the death of his brother Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, was beyond doubt. But Mr. Salam has been facing stiff challenges, both electorally and organisationally, with some leaders voicing support for senior leader M.K. Muneer, MLA, to take on the mantle of party State secretary.
Currently Mr. Salam, who is backed by the party’s national general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty, is acting State secretary after K.P.A. Majeed got elected to the Assembly in 2021. However, Mr. Thangal who held parleys with State and district leaders in Malappuram on Friday was determined to reach a consensus and had told the media that contest for organisational posts was not a party practice.
Meanwhile, the IUML leadership also dismissed “rumours” that a delegation of party leaders including a legislator had held talks with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). No leader of the IUML even at the local level would hold talks with the RSS leadership, Mr. Salam clarified while replying to media queries.
RSS Kerala Prantha Karyavah (State general secretary) P.N. Easwar had told journalists in Kochi recently that the organisation had held parleys with IUML leaders, as that party could be considered as a democratic party and was one of the dominant political parties in Kerala. Though the IUML had communal interests, it did not have the stance of extremist parties, Mr. Easwar said.
The State council meeting also re-elected C.T. Ahammadali as State treasurer and Dr. Muneer as a member of the State secretariat. It also elected 10 vice presidents and 11 State secretaries. The State secretariat will have Ahamed Kutty Unnikulam, M. Rahumathullah, Zuhara Mamppad, and Noorbina as permanent invitees.