Muslim League goes strong on fifth minister

By TCN News,

Malappuram: After the central cabinet re-shuffle which barred cabinet berth or even independent powers in the minister of state position of E Ahmed, the Muslim League is going stronger in its demand for a fifth minister in Kerala. That the party had to change many of its decisions recently also has seemingly forced the League not to go backward in the issue.

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A fifth minister is the right of the Muslim League and the party would stay strong in the matter, said cabinet minister and Muslim League national president E Ahmed. There is no relation between cabinet post and fifth ministership. He added that the party would not go backward in the matter.

Finance Minister and Congress (M) leader KM Mani last day stated in New Delhi that his party had no objection to giving a fifth minister for the League. The Congress (M), which already has two ministers, had asked for a third minister and the party was given Chief Whip post. Mr Mani added that the party now had no remaining issues regarding the government formation.

The Muslim League state secretariat that met in Kozhikode on Sunday decided to go forward strongly with the demand for a fifth minister. And the new statement of KM Mani is seen as the result of League’s efforts to gather support of other allies in the UDF for its demand.

It is going to be two months since party president Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal announced Manjalamkuzhi Ali as the fifth minister form the League. The name was announced after the seat-sharing talks were over in the UDF, in which the League was given four ministers. Thangal had also been to Kottayam and met the Chief Minister, in an unusual move unheard of in the history of the League. (Congress leaders used to come to Panakkad for talks, but a Muslim League president never went to Kottayam for any talks earlier.) However, the Chief Minister then came to Panakkad five weeks ago and held talks with Thangal and other leaders on the matter. Kunjalikkutty had said in the state working committee meeting held on July 5 in Thiruvananthapuram that there was nothing to worry in the matter of the fifth ministership. After the central cabinet reshuffle, general secretaries KPA Majeed and ET Muhammed Basheer last day stated strongly that the League would not go backward in the demand for fifth minister.

The party which won in flying colours in the Assembly elections with 20 seats could not manage to get even five ministers in the government. Though it tried to console itself and the workers with hopes of cabinet rank or independent powers for E Ahmed in the central ministry, that too went fruitless.

Though not even two months have passed after the formation of the UDF government, two main decisions taken by the Muslim League had to be changed and it has affected the image of the party. The Education Minister from the party PK Abdurabb had announced that NOC would be given to CBSE schools in the state, but the decision had to be changed due to stringent opposition even from the League’s own students’ wing MSF. The party then nominated VP Abdul Hameed, former member of the Kerala PSC, to the post of the Vice Chancellor of the Calicut University, but that decision too had to be changed as even the Congress reportedly opposed it. All these have affected the good image of the party which now is forced to set things right by getting a fifth minister.