Malappuram | A change unlikely in this IUML stronghold

In the Malappuram constituency, the candidates from the major fronts - LDF, UDF and NDA, are linked to each other in different ways. But it is unlikely to affect their attempts to score a political point here

Updated - April 03, 2024 04:52 pm IST

Published - March 31, 2024 11:44 pm IST - Malappuram

Candidates of the three major fronts of the Malappuram constituency.

Candidates of the three major fronts of the Malappuram constituency.

The three major candidates from the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency are linked in more ways than one. But, it is unlikely to affect their attempts to score a political point in the constituency, an Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) stronghold.

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate E.T. Mohammed Basheer has close relatives in Kozhikode’s Kodiyathur, which is also the native village of V. Vaseef, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate. Both Mr. Vaseef and Mr. Basheer are the alumni of the same upper primary school in Kodiyathur. M. Abdul Salam, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calicut during the tenure of the second Oommen Chandy Ministry. Mr. Vaseef, State president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, is also a former chairperson of the Calicut University students’ union.

As the election campaign is heating up in the constituency, implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is among the major issues being taken up by the LDF, which is also organising night marches to drive home its point. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressed an event in Malappuram recently to reiterate that the law wouldn’t be implemented in Kerala. Though the UDF is also highlighting the issue, their campaign is also against the alleged anti-people policies of the governments in power.

History

B. Pokker of the IUML was the first MP elected from the constituency, then called Malappuram, in the 1952 general elections. He got re-elected in 1957, after the formation of Kerala, when the segment came to be known as Manjeri. IUML stalwarts M. Muhammad Ismail, Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait, and E. Ahmed carried forward their party’s legacy of electoral success later.

In 2004, however, Manjeri “turned red” as T.K. Hamza, Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] leader, defeated the IUML’s K.P.A. Majeed to become the LDF’s only MP from here. After the delimitation of constituencies, the segment was renamed Malappuram. Ahmed again got elected from here after defeating Mr. Hamza in 2009 and P.K. Sainaba in 2014. After his death in 2017, IUML leader P.K. Kunhalikutty won from here in a bypoll, and again in 2019. When Mr. Kunhalikutty resigned from his post after his Assembly election victory in 2021, M.P. Abdussamad Samadani was elected as MP in another bypoll. This time, Mr. Samadani has been shifted to Ponnani, and Mr. Basheer, the incumbent MP from there, is brought to Malappuram.

14,30,604 voters

There are 14,30,604 voters in the constituency with Assembly segments such as Kondotty, Manjeri, Perinthalmanna, Mankada, Malappuram, Vengara, and Vallikkunnu, all represented by IUML MLAs, being part of it. The CPI(M) has its influence in Perinthalmanna and Mankada, where the margin of victory for the IUML candidates in the 2021 Assembly polls was 38 and 6,246 votes, respectively. In the 2019 election, Mr. Kunhalikutty had a majority of 2.6 lakh votes, which came down to 1.14 lakh votes for Mr. Samadani in the 2021 bypoll.

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