ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Disarmament- Testing Time

October 6, 1984 central parliamentary board to negotiate electoral arrangements with other political parties for the Lok Sabha elections. The IUML is an ally of the Congress(l) in the coalition government in Kerala, but it has been turning increasingly critical of the Congress(I) on the issue of treatment of minorities, Soon after the Bhiwan- di riots in Maharashtra, IUML leaders had met the Janata Party president and discussed with him the possibility of seat adjustments in the elections. Even in Kerala, where through its membership of the coalition government the IUML has wrested major concessions for the Muslims, the IUML leaders have said that they "do not rule out the possibility of pulling out of the coalition in case the central parliamentary board so decides". As of now, this is a remote possibility. Instead the Kerala unit of the IUML has put forward new demands in return for its continued support to the ruling coalition. These include special recruitment of Muslims to the police force, appointment of more Muslims in state-owned units, allocation of four Lok Sabha seats from Kerala to the IUML, etc The Prime Minister had met the IUML president, Ebrahim Suleiman Sait, in August. The meeting reflected the Congress(I)'s concern that the party was losing its appeal among Muslims. The IUML (as well as other Muslim organisations) are unhappy with the All-India Wakf Amendment Bill, 1984, for making the wakf boards merely advisory bodies and giving sweeping powers to the government-appointed Wakf Commissioner. Further, nothing has come of the government's repeated assurances of providing larger employment to Muslims in class II and III services. The proposal for special courts to try cases arising out of communal riots too has been a non-starter as has been the one for increasing the representation of minorities in the police or paramilitary forces.

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