The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala announced the names of its candidates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Saturday. Both the candidates who will be contesting elections are current Members of Parliament. PK Kunhalikutty and ET Mohammed Basheer, will contest from Malappuram and Ponani respectively.
Meanwhile, Navas Gani will be the party nominee from Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu.
The names of the candidates was announced by Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, who is the State President of the IUML.
According to reports, IUML is reported to have requested the UDF leadership for three seats but the Congress, which is the leading party in the front was against it. Apart from Malappuram and Ponnani, IUML had asked for a seat in either Kasaragod or Palakkad.
Both Malappuram and Ponnani have been strongholds of the UDF and the IUML has been contesting from these two constituencies for several years now.
A significant player in Kerala politics, PK Kunhalikutty was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1982 from his constituency in Malappuram. But in 2017, he had resigned as an MLA to represent the Lok Sabha constituency. Kunhalikutty entered national politics after he won the bypoll from the Malappuram constituency in April 2017 by defeating MB Faisal of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) by a huge majority.
ET Mohammed Basheer, during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, won from his constituency in Ponnani by a margin of 25,410 votes. He had also won from the same constituency in 2009 and 2004. In 2004, he was the only UDF candidate to have won a seat, while all other 19 candidates lost. Basheer was also the State Party Secretary of the Indian Union Muslim League and someone who supported the long standing coalition with the Indian National Congress (INC).