The crisis within the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) deepened further last night, with the party high command summoning an emergency meeting without the presence of the Party General Secretary, Ceylon Today learns. The meeting was originally scheduled to take place today. SLMC members however toned down the crisis and said the meeting was being held to nominate candidates for the Provincial Council elections.The crisis, that could well lead to the party splitting in to two, began when the SLMC leader, Rauff Hakeem, decided to align the party with the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) for the forthcoming the Eastern Provincial Council Elections. It is understood that the General Secretary of the SLMC, Hassan Ali, Legal Advisor, Nizam Kariyappar and the Propaganda Secretary and former Senator, Masoor Maulana , were critical of Hakeem’s decision to contest with the UPFA.When contacted, Kariyappar told Ceylon Today he was unable to comment as his leader is the media spokesman, and others were not supposed to speak to the media. Meanwhile, SLMC National Organiser of the SLMC Youth Wing, A. M. Jameel dismissed the ‘crisis’ as a rumour being spread by the opposition in an attempt to cripple the party during the significant election period. He termed it as a ‘conspiracy by the opposition’.“After the SLMC leadership’s decision to contest the upcoming election in the three Provincial Councils under the ruling party, rumours have started spreading that the party is likely to split. These are completely untrue,” he said, adding that the decision to join the UPFA was made following discussions between the party leader and President Mahinda Rajapaksa.However, he conceded that several party members were not in favour of the decision, but maintained that it did not adversely affect the party. Commenting on the absence of Hasan Ali at Friday’s Supreme Council meeting, Jameel said it was due to the General Secretary being sick on that day.Jameel said he had met and inquired from Hassan Ali regarding the matter and that the General Secretary had stated that he was resting at home as he was not feeling well.Meanwhile, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has also expressed its disappointment over Hakeem’s decision, saying, “By joining with the UPFA, the SLMC has let down the Tamil speaking people in the East.”Following the SLMC’s decision to align with the UPFA, the party has been been allocated six seats in the Ampara District and three each in the Districts of Batticaloa and Trincomalee. According to sources, the General Secretary and several other members of the SLMC are of the view that the party should contest the Eastern PC polls alone.