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Look, who bats for Left now: extremist Jamaat

Rajeev P I

Posted: Apr 06, 2006 at 0428 hrs IST

Yet another ultra-conservative outfit that the last CPM-led government had officially labelled as extremist, has announced that it would plump for the LDF this poll. T Arif Ali, Kerala Amir of the Jamaat-e-Islami, broke from his outfit’s straitjacketed traditions to exhort his ranks to work actively for the Left this poll.

Though the till now professedly apolitical Jamaat had issued support calls for a rare individual candidate or two in the past, this is the first time ever that it is extending support to an entire coalition front.

The Jamaat, which was one of the nine outfits that the E K Nayanar-led Left government had officially listed as extremist, has an estimated six lakh official sympathisers, members and workers scattered over the state. It could impact poll fortunes in several constituencies in both north and south Kerala if its ranks follow their Amir’s unprecedented call. The loser would be the Muslim League, which shares pockets of influence with it and has put up its candidates in those.

Significantly, the Amir says the only exceptions to its blanket support call to the Left Front will be candidates who have a record of immorality and those who are know to have links with ‘fascist’ forces. That apart, he has also asked his ranks to vote for any candidate who has a perceived winning chance, wherever the Sangh parivar appears to have a strong candidate.

‘‘Our central committee recently decided to allow all state units to support any party or front that they deem to be more supportive in their respective states. We decided to back the Left because they have taken the right positions in issues like opposing US imperialism. Besides, they took a better stand in the issue of job reservation or minorities,’’ according to the Amir.

Jamaat-e-Islami

PAST: The Jamaat-e-Islami was one of the nine outfits that the E K Nayanar-led LDF government officially listed as extremist some years back.

STRENGTH: An estimated six lakh official sympathisers, members and workers scattered all over Kerala. Could impact poll fortunes in several constituencies in both north and south Kerala.

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