IUML to decide Friday on Ahamed’s continuing in cabinet


Kozhikode: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) will support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on the India-US nuclear deal but will decide Friday on whether its lone MP, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, should continue in the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the party said Thursday.

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A decision on whether Ahamed should resign from the cabinet is expected to be taken after Friday’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) meeting in New Delhi, IUML state general secretary P.K. Kunjalikkutty told reporters after a meeting of party leaders at the Malappuram residence of IUML supremo Pankkad Muhammadali Shihab Thangal Thursday evening.

Ahamed conveyed the IUML’s concerns over the deal to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi after the meeting.

“We have a certain opinion on the nuclear deal and we will discuss it at the UPA coordination committee meeting tomorrow (Friday). The details of the discussion will be conveyed to the party president and it is for him to take an appropriate decision,” Ahamed told reporters.

The IUML also entrusted Ahamed with the responsibility of conveying to the UPA the party’s concerns over the nuclear deal.

However, the party also decided to support the UPA government in case of a trust vote in parliament on the nuclear deal.

“The Muslim League is a constituent of the UPA. We will support the government if it were to face a confidence vote,” Ahamed told reporters.

Responding to Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s demand for his resignation from the central cabinet, Ahamed asked the Marxist leader to refrain from advising the IUML.

The League’s attack on the Left came as Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist began criticising its position over the nuclear deal. The League leadership believes it could counter the CPI-M attack by highlighting the similarities in the Marxist and BJP stance on the deal.

The IUML has only one MP – Ahamed – as it suffered a setback in the 2004 general elections when it lost its stronghold, the Manjeri constituency.