It's a bye-election that Kerala is keenly watching. The LDF on Saturday announced DYFI district president MB Faisal as its candidate to take on the IUML’s PK Kunhalikutty in the Malappuram bye-election.
CPI (M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan made the announcement in Malappuram. Faisal is DYFI district president and a member of the District Panchayat of Malappuram.
The LDF's decision to field Faisal against one of the most powerful names in Kerala politics has come as a surprise. The name of senior leader TK Hamsa, who contested and won the election from Manchery in 2004, was also doing the rounds as a probable candidate. The LDF claims that they wanted to give a chance to a youth. CPI (M) leaders claim that by fielding Faisal the party has posed a big challenge to Kunhalikutty. Faisal told the media that he is optimistic about the result.
The Indian Union Muslim League named PK Kunhalikutty as its candidate on March 15. IUML is the second largest party in the United Democratic Front which is in the opposition now. The seat fell vacant after the death of IUML leader E Ahamed. The tallest leader of the party, E Ahamed died on February 1.
The IUML fielded Kunhalikutty, one of the senior leaders, with the motive of making him the party's face at the national level. Kunhalikutty is currently a legislator representing Vengara constituency. The IUML aims to secure a record majority in the constituency by fielding the former minister as the candidate.