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20-member Kerala IUML elects Kunhalikutty as legislative party leader

Monday May 16, 2011 06:53:58 PM, IANS

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Malappuram (Kerala): The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second biggest partner in the victorious Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, Monday named former minister P.K.Kunhalikutty as its leader in the state assembly.

This would mean Kunhalikutty is likely to become a minister in the Oommen Chandy cabinet, to be sworn-in Wednesday.

"The other details of who all else would become ministers from our party would be decided by our party president Panakad Hyderali Shihab Thangal at the appropriate time. We are all now going to take this discussion forward when we meet the newly-elected chief minister. This would take place tomorrow (Tuesday)," IUML leader and Minister of State for External Affairs E.Ahamed told reporters here.

The IUML performed well in the April 13 assembly elections, winning 20 out of the 24 seats it contested. This puts it second in the UDF to the Congress which won 38 seats.

Kunhalikutty came under a shadow after being accused in the ice cream parlour sex scandal of the early 1990s, which got its name from the ice cream parlour in Kozhikode used as its base.

He had to step down as minister in 2005 after one of the victims in the sex case alleged his role in the scandal. He then lost the 2006 assembly polls to K.T. Jaleel, who was an Independent candidate supported by the Left Democratic Front.

This case resurfaced again early this year when a close relative made some allegations against Kunhalikutty. Outgoing Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan ordered a re-investigation, which is still on.

Achuthanandan incidentally has already warned that those in charge of forming the new government should not thrust the corrupt and womanisers as ministers on the people of the state but did not take any names.




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