KANNUR: Kozhikode Collector P.B. Salim assumed charge as Kannur Collector here on Saturday after the incumbent V.K. Balakrishnan was shifted following a directive from the Election Commission (EC) in the wake of allegations of anomalies in the election process in the Kannur Assembly byelection scheduled on November 7.
Mr. Salim reached the Collectorate around 2.30 p.m. He held a meeting with Mr. Balakrishnan, Special Election Observer Sandeep Saxena and election officials in the afternoon.
The new Collector is holding a meeting of political party leaders on Sunday.
Mr. Salim has been recommended by the EC from a panel of three IAS officials submitted by Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan.
The EC had recommended to the Chief Secretary to shift Mr. Balakrishnan who was accused of being partial by the United Democratic Front.
13 in the fray
There are 13 candidates in the fray after three Independents withdrew their nominations on the last day of withdrawal on Saturday. The main candidates are A.P. Abdullakutty (Congress), M.V. Jayarajan (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and Ranjith (Bharatiya Janata Party). The others include Abdul Majeed Faisi, Independent supported by the Social Democratic Party of India (symbol — ceiling fan), four namesakes of Mr. Abdullakutty, namely, A.P. Abdullakutty (shuttlecock), Abdullakutty A.P. (glass tumbler), Abdullakutty P.C. (postal box), Abdullakutty M.V. (harmonium), and Jayaraj (whistle).