UDF candidate Shafi Parambil gets a rousing reception in Vadakara

Though the UDF candidate is hopeful of retaining the seat, LDF’s K.K. Shailaja is undeterred by the hype around him

Updated - March 11, 2024 07:52 am IST

Published - March 10, 2024 09:22 pm IST - Kozhikode

Shafi Parambil, UDF candidate in the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency, greeting the crowd along with K.K. Rema, MLA, MK Raghavan, MP, and IUML leader Parakkal Abdulla at Vadakara in Kozhikode on Sunday. 

Shafi Parambil, UDF candidate in the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency, greeting the crowd along with K.K. Rema, MLA, MK Raghavan, MP, and IUML leader Parakkal Abdulla at Vadakara in Kozhikode on Sunday. 

The stage is set for a high-voltage political battle in Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency in Kozhikode district with the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate Shafi Parambil, Palakkad MLA, launching his campaign on Sunday evening.

Mr. Parambil was taken in an open vehicle followed by a huge procession from the Vadakara bus stand premises to the Kottaparambu grounds where a political convention was held. Senior UDF leaders such as MP M.K. Raghavan, and MLAs P.C. Vishnunadh, T. Siddique and K.K. Rema accompanied him. The procession was marked by the presence of a large number of youths. Indian Union Muslim League national general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty opened the political convention later.

Vadakara is witnessing a rare contest this time with both the UDF and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) fielding incumbent MLAs from the constituency. While Mr. Parambil’s candidature was announced at the last minute, K.K. Shailaja, the LDF candidate and Mattannur MLA, has already begun her campaign. Though it was expected that K. Muraleedharan, UDF’s incumbent MP, would seek another term in office from Vadakara, he was shifted to Thrissur and replaced by Mr. Parambil. Mr. Muraleedharan had already begun his campaign works in Vadakara and posters and graffitis seeking votes for him had to be replaced.

On Sunday, Mr. Parambil was seen interacting with his voters in Palakkad before travelling to Vadakara. He has been representing Palakkad in the Assembly since 2011. In his maiden electoral battle, Mr. Parambil defeated veteran trade unionist and CPI(M) leader K.K. Divakaran, who had been Palakkad MLA since 2006. He repeated his victories in 2016 and 2021. Though it was reported that leaders of the IUML and the RMP, which extends its support to the UDF, had misgivings about his candidature, they were cleared later. The support of the RMP, which has considerable influence in certain areas in the constituency, was crucial in Mr. Muraleedharan’s victory last time.

Ms. Shailaja, however, looks undeterred by the hype around the UDF candidate as she is meeting various sections of society in the segment spread across Kozhikode and Kannur districts. On Sunday, she told a section of the media that she was sure of her victory and a bypoll would have to be held in Mattannur.

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