Firm stand against extremism and fundamentalism is one of the major factors for the impressive victory of Indian Union Muslilm League (IUML) in recent local body elections in Kerala, according to party general secretary P K Kunhalikutty.
"As a partner in the Congress-led UDF, we have always taken a firm position against communalism, fundamentalism and extremism. This has been once again endorsed by the people in party's stronglholds", Kunhalikitty, a fomrer state minister, said.
He said verdict reflected rejection of outfits like People's Democratic Party (PDP), Jama-ath-Islami and SDPI, the political arm of the Popular Front.
"The strong presence of IUML as a mainstream political force is the basic reason for those who espouse fundamentalist ideals failing to strike roots in Kerala", Kunhalikitty said.
He said IUML, which had alwasy stood for secularism and social justice, had launched a campaign against extremism in the backdrop of incidents like chopping off the hand of college lecturer T J Joseph, allegedly by Popular Front activists, he said.
The poll verdict is a clear indication that the campaign had yielded results, especially in areas like north Kerala where Muslims constituted an important part of the society, he said.
He said IUML had been able to emerge as the third party in the state after the Congress and the CPI-M. "We are now the third largest party in terms of number of seats secured in the civic polls." .
The League, the second largest partner in the UDF, was quite comfortable with its alliance with the Congress in the state as well as at the Centre, he said.
Kunhalikutty, whose organisational acumen and acceptability among the workers helped the party to recoup after the setback in 2006 assembly polls, said the party was confident of putting up a sterling performance in the assembly polls just five months away.