In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi's photographs with green colour IUML flag were shared on social media, claiming that the flag was a Pakistani one.

Rahul Gandhi giving a speech
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Saturday, April 03, 2021 - 19:37

After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's roadshow for the election campaign of PK Jayalakshmi, UDF’s candidate at Mananthavady in Wayanad, many noted that there were hardly any green flags of Indian Union of Muslim League (IUML) to be seen. The CPI (M) alleged that this was strange given that the League is the strongest ally of UDF and also prominent in Wayanad. Meanwhile some videos doing the rounds on social media showed a few IUML supporters holding a folded or rolled up IUML flag during the rally.

The Congress and IUML have had a tumultuous history. In December 1955, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Kerala and in a speech in Kozhikode, lashed out at IUML, calling it a 'dead horse'. The then Chief Minister of Kerala, CH Muhammed Koya, responded that the League is not a dead horse but a ‘sleeping lion’. However, things changed by the 1970s and the two parties have been allies for decades now. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when Nehru's grandson Rahul lost from his sitting constituency Amethi very badly, he won from Wayanad with the huge support of IUML. During Rahul’s election campaign, both flags – the tricolour of Indian National Congress and green one of IUML – were waved. Some Twitter handles had shared these photos and videos wrongly claiming that the IUML flags were Islamic or Pakistani flags.

In the recent incident, neither IUML nor the Congress have agreed that they were intentionally avoiding the green flags. Congress said that they showed only the flag of the party to which the candidate belonged, as decided earlier.

Several social media handles meanwhile have been saying that the IUML has been neglected, despite helping Rahul Gandhi clinch victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile CPI (M) has alleged a secret alliance between the UDF and the BJP, which is why they avoided the IUML flags. Local CPI(M) leaders have alleged that the BJP may cross vote for a few Congress candidates with the intention of making LDF lose. According to them, the BJP has put forward a condition to the Congress that this support would be forthcoming only if the Congress avoided IUML flags. Congress has however denied this. IUML leaders from Wayanad denied such claims, and said that these are fake messages being spread by CPI (M).

There are also reports that the social media hate posts from 2019 misidentifying IUML flag for Pakistani flag had caused considerable damage to Congress in the north, and the party did not want to repeat that. 

 

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.