Koduvally Municipal Councillor Karat Faizal will be contesting in the local body polls in Kozhikode as an independent candidate. His candidature was announced at a public function last week, by MLA PTA Rahim. Karat Faizal was removed as the LDF (Left Democratic Front) candidate after he was taken into custody and interrogated last month, in connection with the gold smuggling case through diplomatic channels in the Thiruvananthapuram airport. On October 1, Faizal had been taken into custody by Customs officials in connection with the same smuggling case. He has also been arrested before, in 2015, in another case of gold smuggling.
Faizal will contest as an independent from the Chundupuram division 15 of Koduvally Municipality. In 2015, Faizal had won from the Parambathu ward of Koduvally municipality as an independent candidate backed by the CPI(M). However, this year, he had to step down as the LDF candidate, as the party reportedly did not want to make a â€˜risky moveâ€™ by nominating him. He was replaced by the Indian National League (INL) nominee OP Rasheed, who will contest with backing from LDF.
It was only last week that INLâ€™s PTA Rahim and Karat Razak (both independent legislators backed by the LDF) announced Karat Faizalâ€™s nomination. After his candidature became a controversy, the CPI(M) reportedly intervened and asked him to step down.
In October, Karat Faizal and Karat Razak, the Koduvally MLA, were named by one of the prime accused as being involved in the ongoing gold smuggling case. In 2013 as well, Faizal was accused of smuggling six kg of gold through the Calicut International Airport, and reportedly investing in the smuggling.
Karat Faizal quit the Indian Union Muslim League along with PTA Rahim to start INL in 2008.