Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) district president Sayed Sadikali Shihab Thangal here on Monday countered Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s remarks against the party, saying that no other party had given representation to women as much as the IUML.
“The IUML has more than 2,000 women representatives in local bodies. There’s hardly any other party that gave so much consideration for women than the IUML. There is no gender discrimination within the party,” he said.
Mr. Thangal, who holds charge of the party’s State president as his elder brother Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal has been unwell, was responding to Mr. Vijayan’s oblique reference to the IUML blaming it for gender indiscrimination in the light of a recent controversy over Haritha, the women student wing of the party.
The IUML had invited criticism from certain quarters over the manner it dealt with a controversy involving the leaders of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) and the Haritha. Following a complaint of sexual harassment, the Haritha filed with the State Women’s Commission against the leaders of the MSF, the IUML disbanded the Haritha State committee and reconstituted it with those who had stayed away from the controversy.
The IUML had also acted against Fatima Thahiliya, the MSF national vice president, for supporting the Haritha leaders who rebelled against the party leadership.
The IUML action against the Haritha leaders was perceived by certain quarters as discriminatory and partisan against women. However, the IUML leadership and the Vanitha League leadership defended the party action saying there was nothing discriminatory in taking action against indiscipline.
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