Kasaragod: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has landed in a fresh political row after one of its members reached the LDF government's Nava Kerala Sadas amid the opposition's calls to boycott the event. Businessman-turned-politician N A Aboobacker, a state council member of IUML, shared stage with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during the morning meet of Nava Keralas Sadas at Chengala panchayat mini stadium here on Sunday.
VIPs from the field of art, culture and business were invited to the morning meeting organised in connection with Nava Kerala Sadas.
While addressing the event, Aboobacker said the arrival of the state cabinet will benefit Kasaragod in its development projects. He appealed to the government to complete the overbridge construction swiftly. “I only discussed the problems in the district. I think there is no need to examine it from a political angle,” he clarified.
Meanwhile, IUML has asserted that Aboobacker didn't represent the party at the event. Earlier, IUML leader P M A Salam asserted that no one from IUML will attend the programme. When Aboobacker's presence at the LDF government's event made headlines, IUML convened an emergency meeting at Panakkad in Malappuram.
Sources close to the party hinted that disciplinary action would be taken against Aboobacker over the incident.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan welcomed Aboobakcer's decision. Training his guns at Congress, he stated that MLAs who are unable to attend the programme are very upset.
“ People are attending the event with one emotion. I think the public participation will increase in the coming days. Opposition MLAs are going through extreme mental stress as they are unable to attend the event. They should take responsibility for coordinating the event. I wish they should come forward and cooperate with the programme,” said CM.
Criticising Congress, he added that the leadership's wrong decision left the MLAs in trouble. He added that all people attended the morning meeting with a positive attitude.
The development comes in the wake of IUML MLA and Malappuram district general secretary P Abdul Hameed being recently nominated to the director board of the Kerala State Co-operative Bank, now called Kerala Bank. The IUML leader's participation and Hameed's nomination come amidst speculations that the ruling CPM in Kerala was trying to woo the Congress ally. On the other day, Congress claimed that the outreach programme has turned into a stage for politically denouncing and criticising the opposition at state expense.
Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that no one talks about politics in government programmes, but only politics was being discussed in 'Nava Kerala Sadas'. He also termed the programme a 'failure' as people could not meet the CM or ministers and hand over complaints directly to them nor were their issues resolved. "The crowd at the programme was of those who were compelled or forced to be there," he alleged.
Congress MP K Muraleedharan recalled that when former CM and party stalwart Oommen Chandy had held such programmes, he would directly collect the complaints and provide a resolution then and there.
"Now the programme has become a stage to denounce and criticise the opposition as state expense," he said and added that it was not a government event, but that of the CPM. Chennithala said if collecting complaints was the only objective, the CM and ministers need not go to all the constituencies at such huge expense and can receive grievances via online mode.
On the other hand, state Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said many UDF MLAs want to take part in the programme, but were unable to do so due to "the stubbornness and anti-Left hatred of some Congress leaders". The opposition Congress and the BJP have criticised Vijayan and the ruling CPI(M) over the conduct of the Nava Kerala Sadas amidst the financial crunch and have dubbed the one-month-long outreach programme as 'sheer extravagance'.
(With PTI inputs)