Marriage Age Row: CPI(M) Says IUML Behind Move

Marriage Age Row: CPI(M) Says IUML Behind Move

CPI(M) today alleged that IUML is behind the move of some Muslim religious outfits in Kerala to take legal recourse to get marriageable age of girls in the community lowered from 18.

Dubbing it as a dangerous and retrograde move, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said it was the sectarian strategy of the IUML to create communal polarisation before Lok Sabha polls.

An umbrella forum of as many as nine Muslim religious outfits held a meeting in Kozhikode last week and decided to move the Supreme Court seeking lowering of the marriageable age of girls from the community from the present 18 years.

They maintained that the minimum marriageable age for women fixed at 18 years by the Child Marriage Act and the Supreme Court's endorsement of it amounted to infringement on Muslim Personal law.

Reacting to the development, Vijayan said it was significant that the joint council formed by the nine organisations had elected a senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader as its convener.

This clearly showed that IUML, the second largest partner in the UDF, was behind the campaign and its aim was to polarise Muslim votes before Lok Sabha polls, Vijayan said.

"This is not just a dangerous move harmful to the Muslim community but would help the RSS and allied forces," he said.

Though some Congress leaders had resented the development in their personal comments, neither Chief Minister Oommen Chandy nor KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala had come out with the official position of the party on the issue, he said.

It was obvious from this that they were afraid of speaking against IUML as that party's votes are crucial in the Parliament elections, the CPI(M) leader added.

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