“Muslim league is a virus,” said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath in one of his tweets on Friday morning. The UP CM was referring to the support provided by the Indian Union Muslim Legue (IUML) to Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his road show in Wayanad, which is one of the seats from where he will be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In a tweet, the UP CM said, “Muslim league is a virus. It is a virus that once you are infected with it, you cannot be saved and today, the main opposition party has been infected with it. Think about it, what will happen if they win? This virus will spread throughout the country.”
“In the freedom struggle of 1857, the entire country, along with Mangal Pandey, fought against the British and then this Muslim League virus came and our country was divided,” said Adityanath in his tweet. “Today again that danger looms over us. Green flags are being waved again. Congress has gotten infected with the Muslim League virus, be careful,” he added.
Surprisingly, the UP CM seems to be unaware (deliberately or otherwise) of IUML's long political history in Kerala. IUML became coalition partners with the Congress first during the 1960 election.
In October 1979, IUML leader CH Mohammed Koya became the Chief Minister of Kerala for a short time with the help of the Congress. He was Chief Minister for just two months. In the next cabinet, lead by Congress stalwart K Karunakaran, Koya became the Deputy Chief Minister.
IUML or then the Muslim League has also had electoral pacts with the CPI and CPI(M) in many elections from 1965 to 1980.
IUML has been one of the major allies and an important constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) that was formed in 1980 and this fact seems to have been largely missed by many of the people outside Kerala, as they were surprised with the number of “green flags” that were present during Rahul Gandhi’s roadshow in Wayanad. Many people took to Twitter to say that Pakistani flags were waived in Wayanad during Rahul’s roadshow, when in reality the green flags were that of the IUML.
In 2004, IUML leader, late E Ahmed became the Minister of State for External Affairs in the Manmohan Singh government.
Rahul Gandhi arrived in Wayanad from Kozhikode on Thursday morning amidst huge crowd support, as they cheered for their candidate from both sides of the road as he was driven to the Wayanad collector’s office to file his nomination.
This was followed by a roadshow where Rahul Gandhi, along with his sister and National General Secretary of Congress, Priyanka Gandhi, boarded an open jeep, accompanied by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, Congress Working Committee member Oommen Chandy and Congress leader KC Venugopal.
There was a high volume of workers from both the Congress as well as the Indian Union Muslim League, the Kerala Students Union and the Youth Congress present during the roadshow.