Usually, jobs, housing, development and even hikes in welfare pensions are the poll promises made by candidates. But this Kerala Assembly election, a candidate in Malappuram district has promised something unique. Kattupparuthy Sulaiman Haji, the Left Democratic Front-backed independent candidate in Kondotty, has promised to start a football tournament in the constituency if he wins and then take the winners of the tournament to the 2022 FIFA World Cup scheduled to be held in Qatar. While his poll promise has raised a few eyebrows, for a district famous for its ardent love for football, Sulaiman Haji’s promise could be a gamechanger.
Sulaiman Haji has mentioned this in the personal constituency manifesto that he distributed in Kondotty recently. He says that if he wins the election, he will conduct a football tournament for football clubs in the constituency for the ‘MLA Trophy’ and the winners will be taken to Qatar.
Recently in an interview with the news channel Reporter Live, Sulaiman Haji reiterated his poll promise. “I have been living abroad for the past 30 years and I have many contacts in many countries including Qatar and there is no doubt that I can fulfil this promise,” Sulaiman Haji said.
Kondotty is the sitting seat of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which is part of the Congress-led United Democratic Front. Since 1977, the constituency has been a citadel of IUML. Sitting MLA TV Ibrahim is contesting from the seat this time as well. It will be interesting to watch out whether Sulaiman Haji’s unique poll promise will create an impact, at least among the youth in the region.
Recently, Sulaiman Haji had come under the spotlight after allegations that he did not mention details of his spouse in the election affidavit filed before the Election Commission. After the UDF alleged discrepancies, Sulaiman Haji’s affidavit was put on hold for two days for special scrutiny. However, it was later accepted by the District Collector.
Watch Sulaiman Haji’s interview where he makes the poll promise: