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IUML bastion Ponnani hasn't returned a single Congress candidate in 68 years

IANS  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

It's been represented by stalwarts like G.M. Banatwala, and of the IUML but the constituency in North hasn't returned a single candidate since the first in 1951. That's all of 68 years and it's likely to maintain the record even this time around.

The had ceded the constutuency, one of the very few in the country to have never returned a candidate of the Grand Old Party, to the (IUML), its ally both in and the centre, and this arrangement is likely to continue for a long time to come.

Since 1969, is part of the district and prior to the formation of in 1956, it was part of the district that was under the administrative control of the presidency.

Ponnani, during the yesteryears, was an important centre for Muslim traders as its port is located on the It also served as the military headquarters of the erstwhile Kozhikode rulers.

What is surprising is that even top guns like former two time are aware of Ponnani's 'track record'.

"Are you sure, this is correct," was Chandy's the first response to a question about

Elaborating on why this has happened, he said Kerala is quite uniquene as it is here that the concept of coalition government's took shape and has stood the test of time.

"Coalition strengthened ever since 1967 after E. M. S. Namboodiripad formed the In 1970, under CPI veteran C. Achutha Menon, the Congress also joined his ministry and from then on coalition has come to stay. From 1977 this has been the seat of our ally, Indian Union Muslim League, and it's quite natural that the Congress party will not get that seat to contest," Chandy explained.

Since the first in 1951, Ponnani has been represented 11 times by the IUML and its candidates have been recording a continuous run of victories from 1977 onwards. The incumbent, E.T.Mohammed Basheer, is seeking a hat-trick of wins.

In the past, has represented the constituency seven time and sait and E. Ahamad, the in the (2004-14), once each.

Ponnani was represented by Praja Party In the first election, once by the undivided in 1962 and in 1967 and 1971 by the of India-Marxist.

The Ponnani seat encompasses seven assembly constituencies, of which six are in district, while the Thirthala constituency is located in district.

Four of the constituencies were won by the Congress-led UDF in the 2016 assembly polls and three by the with the ruling CPI-M led LDF.

Senior IUML Abdurahiman Randathani, who lost the 2016 assembly election from the Tanur constituency, said he too was not aware of Ponnani's unique record.

"I would attribute this to coalition politics. Prior to formation of district in 1969, the Congress party and the IUML had contested against each other. With the formation of the present day Aled by the Congress, Ponnani and Malappuram Lok Sabha seats have always been contested by the IUML and this has come to stay, given the profile of the district," Randathani said.

The IUML had contested 23 seats in the 2016 assembly polls won 18. In Malappuram district alone the from 12 out of its 16 assembly seats, clearly indicating that in the district, even the Congress, which leads the UDF, is relegated to a distant second place with just four seats.

(Sanu George can be contacted at



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

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 16:14 IST