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Malappuram LS poll will evaluate Left, BJP: IUML


The upcoming Malappuram poll scheduled for April 12 is going to be an evaluation of Kerala's Left and the Modi government, according to the

IUML has fielded one of its most popular leader, P.K.Kunhalikutty, a veteran stalwart of the party and a sitting legislator.

The election was called after the death of IUML leader E. Ahamed last month.

In an interview with IANS, IUML general secretary and the convenor of the Congress led UDF in Malappuram district, K.N.A Khader said when it comes to by-elections, it's always going to be a stock-taking of the political situations.

"Since this is going to be a by-election, the national issues would come into play before the electorate and since this is an election being held after 10 months of the Pinarayi Vijayan led assuming office, it would also be an assessment of the state government," said Khader, who spearheads the campaign.

Kunhalikutty, 65, has been a legislator since 1982 and the state Industries Minister for more than 14 years on three different occasions.

His only electoral defeat in assembly elections came in 2006 when he was defeated by present Local Self Governments Minister K.T. Jaleel.

Kunhalikutty is now a legislator from Vengara, which is part of the Malappuram seat.

"He is filing the nomination papers on March 20 and on the same day, all the top UDF leaders would participate in the UDF election campaign," said Khader, a two time legislator.

Khader added that their first task was to better the margin from 1.94 lakh with which Ahamed won.

"We want the margin to go beyond two lakh and for that we have already started our campaign in a very systematic manner which includes house visits. Since this is a by-election, we will get not just the state level leaders, but also the national leaders," added Khader.

Malappuram district is the citadel of the IUML and the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency comprises seven assembly constituencies, all of which have been won by the IUML in the May 2016 assembly polls.

While Ahamed won with a margin of over 1.94 lakh votes in 2014, if one takes into account the seven assembly constituencies which come under the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency, the lead at the May 2016 assembly polls in these seven constituencies is above 1.14 lakh votes.

With the stature of Kunhalikutty, Khader's figure of a margin above two lakh, according to political pundits, is a figure that can be achieved.

Meanwhile, the CPI-MA is meeting in the state capital on Friday and is expected to announce their candidate on Saturday. BJP, that managed to get 64,705 votes in the 2014 polls, is also expected to announce its candidate on the same day.

As the assembly session also ended on Thursday, the political activity would be centred around Malappuram, with Vijayan having a job to do, as his governance would come under the scanner of the electorate.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 17 2017. 11:58 IST