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Ali had struck a deal with IUML

Abdul Latheef Naha



Manjalamkuzhi Ali

MALAPPURAM: The proposal made by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) to offer ministership to Manjalamkuzhi Ali, MLA, was part a deal he had struck with the party during the recent Assembly elections, according to reliable sources. It was, in fact, quid-pro-quo for his readiness to contest from the Perinthalmanna constituency.

Mr. Ali was not willing to contest from the Perinthalmanna seat when the IUML offered it to him. He was wheedled into contesting from Perinthalmanna by offering him a “dignified position” if the United Democratic Front (UDF) came to power.

The IUML made the move knowing well that anyone other than Mr. Ali would have lost to the CPI(M)'s popular outgoing MLA V. Sasikumar in Perinthalmanna. Mr. Ali had, in fact, preferred to contest from Mankada, the constituency he won twice for the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Record seats

It was Mr. Ali's victory from Perinthalmanna that earned the IUML its record number of seats in the Assembly.

And his influence had its effect on the results of Mankada and Mannarkkad — two neighbouring constituencies that went to the IUML's kitty without much effort.

IUML sources said Mr. Ali — and the IUML leadership as well — would be happy with any ministerial position in the initial phase.

Sources said any future reshuffle of the IUML Ministers would help Mr. Ali gain a more noticeable portfolio in the Cabinet. That too is part of the deal the IUML had made with Mr. Ali.

His name had been tipped to be among the possible candidates for ministership when the LDF assumed power five years ago.

With the CPI(M) leadership distancing itself from Mr. Ali, while at the same time getting cosy with K.T. Jaleel, MLA, the IUML had foreseen a potential weapon in Mr. Ali.

The CPI(M) failed to stop the drifting of Mr. Ali into the UDF camp.

And the Left Democratic Front paid a heavy price for it — by losing Mankada and Perinthalmanna.

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