The Communist Part of India (CPI) suffered a major setback after its senior leader and national council member M Rehmatullah joined the Muslim League on Tuesday.
What spurred Rehmatullah’s decision was the party’s seeking an explanation from him after its dismal performance in Eranad (Malappuram) in the recently-concluded assembly polls, where the candidate had lost his deposit.
His decision comes as a shot in the arm for Muslim League. Its popularity chart is already looking up — in the assembly polls, it got 20 seats out of the 24 contested.
“Minorities are increasingly getting marginalised in the communist movement, my exit is not for any office or position,” Rehmatullah said after calling on the Muslim League chief Panakkad Hyerali Shihab Thangal.
Shocked, the CPI has convened an emergency meeting to expel the leader. “It is a disgraceful event. It is good for the party to throw out such traitors,” said CPI state secretary C K Chandrappan.
Many minority leaders have left the CPM camp recently, but this is the first time a senior leader is leaving the CPI. Former Alapuzha MP K Manoj resigned recently from the CPM decrying the party’s move to curb religious freedom.
UDF settles govt formation
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), which managed a wafer-thin majority in the just-concluded assembly elections with 72 seats (of 140), on Tuesday finalised ministry sharing.
The Muslim League will have four ministers and the Kerala Congress (Mani) two. One each will go to the JD(S), Kerala Congress (Jacob), RSP (B) and Kerala Congress (Pillai).
The Congress will have 10 ministers including Oommen Chandy, who will be chief minister.
Chandy, along with seven other leaders, will be sworn in on Wednesday. The cabinet would be expanded on May 23, UDF convener PP Thankachhan said.