“Don’t use Muslim League flags in Rahul’s rallies in Wayanad,” Congress presses panic button as alliance with the Muslim communal party in Kerala can damage its prospects in ‘North India’.
As Rahul Gandhi visits Wayanad today (Thursday) to file his nomination papers as the Congress candidate from the constituency, local leaders have given strict instructions to the workers of its major ally Muslim League not to use the green flag as it could backfire in ‘North India’.
Desperate Congress leaders are spreading the word of warning on social media and in secret WhatsApp groups, created for the election campaign in Wayanad constituency. Indian Union Muslim League is the second biggest party in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) under which Rahul Gandhi is going to contest the Lok Sabha election in Wayanad constituency of Kerala.
Wayanad is a stronghold of Muslim League, with an overwhelming Muslim population. The Congress chose the seat as per the calculation that Muslim votes will consolidate in favour of Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting as a UDF candidate with the wholehearted support of the Muslim League, which is considered to be the most trusted ally of the Congress.
Rahul Gandhi is expected to reach Wayanad to file nomination for the Lok Sabha elections today (Thursday). Priyanka Gandhi is likely to accompany him. The Congress has already declared that Rahul Gandhi will conduct a road show ahead of filing nomination. Now, the Congress local leadership has decided to minimise the number Muslim League flags in the scheduled roadshow as it could result in a backlash elsewhere in the country.
According to a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation accessed by Organiser, a local Congress leader advises Muslim League workers not to use its flag in the election rallies.
“Muslim League friends are our dear ones. Rahul Gandhi will be coming to Wayanad soon. There is no doubt that the green flag (Muslim League’s official flag) is our pride. But in ‘North India’, this flag will be understood in another way. So I request our Muslim League workers to stay away from the rally, even if you come, then please don’t carry your flags,” reads a message in a WhatsApp group created to coordinate election works of UDF in Wayanad constituency.
A Muslim League worker is also seen responded to the message with an angry emoji. Congress workers have also started making similar appeals on various social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
The Muslim League, the then All India Muslim League, which led the struggle for the partition of India into separate Hindu and Muslim states, was founded in December 1906. After the creation of Pakistan, the party was succeeded by the Muslim League in Pakistan and the Indian Union Muslim League in India and the Awami League in the East Pakistan province of Pakistan (Bangladesh).
In the infamous episode of the Marad massacre in Kerala in 2003, eight Hindus from fishermen community were brutally killed by the Muslim extremists. According to Justice Thomas P Joseph commission, which probed the case, “some Muslim League leaders were aware of the conspiracy behind the massacre”. The report is highly critical of the Indian Union of Muslim League, a coalition partner of the Congress-led UDF government that ruled the state in 2003.
According to the report, the activists of the NDF, a Muslim extremist outfit and some Muslim League workers were actively involved in the planning and execution of the massacre at Marad beach. “It was unlikely that the attack did not have the blessings of their leadership at least at the local level,” says the report.
This article was first published on Organiser, and has been republished here with permission.