Malappuram: Amidst the ruling CPI(M) party's alleged attempts to woo members of the UDF alliance, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan on Tuesday met top leaders of Congress-ally IUML and accused the Left party of using the Palestine issue to reap political gains.
Satheesan met with the Indian Union Muslim League's (IUML) leaders at the residence of its state president Sayyid Sadik Ali Shihab Thangal at Panakkad in Malappuram district.
After the meeting, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) met reporters and accused the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala of trying to lure away members of its alliance as the Left party allegedly was not confident in its own strength and abilities.
Satheesan also alleged that the CPI(M) was trying to use the Palestine issue for political gains and were not interested in the main cause.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala called the ruling Left front in the state "a sinking ship" and questioned who would want to board it.
The two Congress leaders were responding to the recent overtures on the part of CPI(M) towards Congress-ally IUML and party leader Aryadan Shoukath.
The CPI(M) had recently invited the IUML to a Palestine solidarity rally it was holding and the Congress-ally had declined the same.
The Left party had, thereafter, claimed that IUML declined the invite due to technical difficulties -- being part of the Congress-led UDF.
It had also attacked the Congress party, by alleging that the grand old party does not have any intention of organising any Palestine solidarity event, which was evident from the show cause notice issued by it to its leader Aryadan Shoukath, who took part in such an event recently.
The CPI(M), which extended its support to Shoukath, said any action against the KPCC general secretary would shatter Congress into pieces.
Senior CPI(M) leader A K Balan also extended his support to Shoukath in the event of the Congress leader facing any action.
Responding to these moves of the Left party, Satheesan told reporters at Malappuram that the CPI(M)'s intent was clear from the fact that only the IUML was invited and not the UDF.
His reaction came after a meeting of IUML and Congress leaders in the northern Malappuram district.
Satheesan said that a few months back when the Centre appeared to be pushing for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, the CPI(M) invited the IUML and Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama -- a Sunni-Shafi'i scholarly body for discussions.
"There are so many organisations which could have been invited to the discussions. So they had a political agenda behind that. They were not interested in the cause. They were trying to gain politically from the UCC issue.
"The same is being seen now when the Palestine issue came up. They are inviting the League. Is the League's participation more important or the Palestine issue? Palestine is a cause.
"This indicates how poorly CPI(M) views such an important issue. They are trying to turn it into a political issue confined to Kerala," Satheesan alleged.
Former LoP and senior Congress leader Chennithala called the Left party "opportunistic" for going after members of the Congress and the IUML.
Their intention is to poach leaders from the Congress or its allies, but it would be unsuccessful, he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
He also alleged that CPI(M) was engaging in such endeavours as the Left party was not confident in its own abilities and strength.
"Even otherwise, who would want to board such a sinking ship," he contended and said that he would like to advise Balan to drop all hopes of luring away members of Congress.