Kerala

LDF brings back showstopper to breach IUML citadel

The LDF changed its candidate in Tirurangadi with the objective of exploiting the displeasure brewing among a section in the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) over K.P.A. Majeed’s candidacy there.

The CPI’s official candidate Ajith Kolady had already begun electioneering in Tirurangadi for the LDF when a section within the IUML raised a banner of protest against Mr. Majeed. Making a calculated move, the LDF replaced Mr. Kolady with an Independent candidate Niyas Pulikkalakath.

Currently the chairman of the Kerala Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd (SIDCO), Mr. Pulikkalakath had proved himself to be a showstopper against IUML’s incumbent P.K. Abdu Rabb in 2016. He had given jitters to Mr. Rabb in the IUML citadel when he narrowed down the latter’s lead to 6,043 from 30,208 in the 2011 Assembly elections.

A hero

Though beaten, Mr. Pulikkalakath had attained a hero’s stature in the 2016 election. He has been brought back to Tirurangadi as a potential shocker for the IUML. Mr. Pulikkalakath has begun his campaign with a bang.

The LDF is at its vibrant best in Tirurangadi with Mr. Pulikkalakath trying his luck once again. He has begun to target many IUML and Congress dissidents.

Mr. Majeed has never been a preferred choice of the IUML in Tirurangadi. Even when expressing no personal animosity towards him, party workers in Tirurangadi they did not want him.

Political image

Although he had represented Mankada five times in the Assembly in 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991 and 1996, the two big losses he suffered in 2001 and 2004 had cast shadow on his political image.

In 2001, it was against Manjalamkuzhi Ali in Mankada. As an LDF Independent, Mr. Ali had captured Mankada from the IUML for the first time in 2001 by defeating Mr. Majeed by 3,058 votes. History was repeated in Manjeri when LDF’s T.K. Hamza shocked the IUML by defeating Mr. Majeed by 47,743 votes in the 2004 Lok Sabha election. It was the first time ever that the IUML lost the Manjeri Parliament seat to the LDF.

Poll debacles

The ghost of Mankada-Manjeri debacles still remain in the minds of the people, though they harbour no ill-will towards Mr. Majeed. “That’s exactly the reason for people turning their back on Mr. Majeed. But as it is a crucial Assembly election, most IUML workers are aware of the importance of not losing a party seat,” said Mohammed Mustafah, an IUML worker from Tirurangadi.

The IUML leadership is confident in Tirurangadi. Unlike the situation in 2016, the UDF appears well set and intact. In the 2019 Ponnani Lok Sabha election, the UDF had gained 46,984 votes lead in Tirurangadi Assembly segment.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 9:02:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/ldf-brings-back-showstopper-to-breach-iuml-citadel/article34084741.ece

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