The Election Commission of India has made it mandatory for all political parties to make the details of any donation above 20,000 rupees known publically in their contribution reports. The contribution reports filed to the Election Commission of India by the various parties revealed that Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a tiny Muslim party based in Kerala, has received a total contribution of more than 13 crore rupees in FY20, which is far above 20,000 rupees.
As per the contribution report filed by IUML that was uploaded on the ECI website a few days ago, the party has received a sum of 13.17 crore rupees in above 20,000 rupees donations. Indian Union Muslim League – an offshoot of the Muslim League that became the vehicle for the partition of India – has a very concentrated support base in the Muslim dominated Malabar region of Kerala.
The Indian Union Muslim League has only 18 seats in the Kerala legislative assembly. Though it is not in power in any state, its income is more than many national parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). And, as per the contribution report, the majority of donations to the party came from gold businesses of the region.
Companies like Malabar Gold Pvt Ltd (20 lakh), Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd (10 lakh), and Haji Malabar Jewels Pvt Ltd (5 lakh) contributed lakhs of rupees to the party fund. Apart from gold businesses, district committees, panchayat committees, and taluka committees also contributed lakhs of rupees to the party ranging from 30 lakh rupees to 25,000 rupees. The huge donations not only show that Muslims are contributing in large number towards the cause of the Muslim League but also points out towards the gold smuggling politician-bureaucrat nexus in Northern Kerala upholding it.
Senior leaders of CPM and the Indian Union Muslim League – two major parties of the state – have been repeatedly caught holding business relations with gold smugglers and images of gold smugglers with many party leaders have even gone viral.
A few months ago, Rameez, a Mallapuram native who was nabbed in gold smuggling racket case, was arrested by customs officials. Later it was revealed that he is a close relative of Malappuram MP and Indian Union Muslim League National General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty.
“Rameez is a close relative of Kunhalikutty. NIA should continue with the probe so that more people involved in the case can be arrested,” said Shyam Prasad, DYFI Malappuram District President.
This isn’t anything new. Whenever a gold smuggling racket is busted in Kerala, the alleged is found to be a relative or business associate of some senior Indian Union Muslim League or CPM leader.
A few months ago, Senior Congress leader VD Satheesan, who had moved a notice for adjournment motion in the Assembly on the issue, told ANI, “As per the World Gold Council, 30 per cent of gold market is in India and out of which Kerala accounts for 80 per cent.”
“However, gold is being smuggled into Kerala, and ornaments are made out of smuggled bullion. It is being sold by evading the GST and, hence, the state is facing huge monetary losses,” he said.
“Only Rs 40,000 crore accounted legal gold business is taking place in Kerala and about Rs 2 lakh crore gold businesses is taking place in the black market,” he added.
Kerala is fast emerging as the hub of gold smuggling mafia just like Mumbai of the 1980s. Much-like Mumbai, the senior politicians of the state, especially from the Indian Union Muslim League, are not only facilitating this smuggling racket but also benefitting from the same.