Thiruvananthapuram: Jamaat-e-Islami general secretary T.A. Arif Ali has made it clear that his organisation will keep out of electoral politics, though supporters will be encouraged to contest the upcoming local bodies elections.
Replying to questions at a meet-the-press programme organised by Kesari Journalists Trust here on Friday, Mr. Ali said his organisation would team-up with civil organisations, environmental groups and opinion-makers who occupied a political space beyond the one occupied by the rival coalitions in the State. Explaining the reason for the shift in stand, he said the Jamaat wanted to be part of the development process at the panchayats which were directly involved in development projects and at the same time retain its profile as a social organisation.
The Jamaat would continue dialogues with all political parties and it was part of this process that the organisation held discussions with the Indian Union Muslim League leadership. He disclosed that the IUML leadership had taken such an initiative, but did not subscribe to the view that the League was the sole arbiter of the Muslim community. �If we are a religious organisation, the IUML should explain to the Election Commission why it should hold a dialogue with one, he said in reply to a question on the IUMLs attitude towards the Jamaat.