2017 Malappuram Lok Sabha By-Poll on April 12,2017 - Kunhalikutty is UDF Candidate
PK Kunhalikutty, former Kerala Minister and national general secretary of the Muslim League, will be the candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the April 12 by-election in Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency.
The by-poll was necessitated by the death of the Muslim League MP, former Union minister E Ahamed. The Muslim League is the second biggest constituent of the UDF, now in the Opposition in the State.
“Though Kunhalikutty is entering the national political scene, he will continue to be in the leadership of the UDF in Kerala,” said Muslim League’s State president Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal while announcing his candidature in Malappuram on Wednesday evening. He said Kunhalikutty would file the nomination for the by-election on March 20,2017
“I have before me paths shown by great leaders – including Ahamed – while I am entering the national political scene,” said 66-year-old Kunhalikutty after Thangal announced his name. Kunhalikutty is presently the deputy leader of the UDF in the State Assembly and MLA from Vengara, one of the six Assembly segments in the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency.
“The aim of the Muslim League in the Malappuram by-election is to bag a bigger majority than that bagged by Ahamed,” said the party’s State general secretary KPA Majeed before the announcement of Kunhalikutty’s candidature. The winning margins of Ahamed in 2014 and 2009 in Malappuram were respectively 1,94,739 and 1,15,597 votes.
If Kunhalikutty wins in the by-election – which the UDF says is certain – it will necessitate a by-election in Vengara Assembly constituency. The Muslim League leadership had taken this factor into consideration during discussions to select the candidate but it came to the conclusion that Kunhalikutty was the best face they had to field in Malappuram.
Though Ahamed’s daughter Fousia Shehzad had expressed interest in contesting in the by-poll, the Muslim League did not consider any other name than that of Kunhalikutty.
The CPI(M)-led LDF and the BJP are yet to pick their candidates for the by-election in Malappuram.