Updated: March 13, 2021 9:35:38 am
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second largest party in the Congress-led UDF, on Friday announced candidates for 25 Assembly seats, fielding a woman after more than two decades.
The party’s tally in the alliance, meanwhile, is up to 27, from 24 in the last elections, after the exit of the Kerala Congress (M) and Loktantrik Janata Dal from the UDF. The candidates for two seats (Chadayamangalam and Punalur) would be announced later.
The Congress, which is contesting at least 90 seats, has not announced its list of candidates yet.
Noorbina Rasheed, the first woman to get an IUML ticket in 25 years, is an advocate who was earlier a councillor in the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation.
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The IUML candidates include the son of former minister V K Ebrahimkunju, who is on bail on charges of corruption following the collapse of a flyover constructed during his regime as public works minister in 2011-2016. Son V E Gafoor got the ticket from Ebrahimkunju’s seat Kalamassery, despite protests by a section of the party workers and Congress, who fear its impact on UDF prospects elsewhere.
IUML state president Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal said the party had decided not to field those who had been legislators for three terms. However, the exceptions are senior leaders P K Kunhalikutty, K P A Majeed and M K Muneer. Kunhalikutty has quit as MP to contest the Assembly polls. Thangal also said the list gives representation to youths and Dalit leaders.
Among the sitting legislators, the party has dropped Manjeshwar sitting MLA M C Kamarudheen, who is out on bail on charges of investment fraud.
Of the 27 seats the IUML is contesting, 22 are in the Malabar region, with the party pitted against the CPM in most of the constituencies. In 2016, the IUML had won 18 of the 24 seats it contested.
The IUML is fielding a UDF-backed Independent, Dinesh Perumanna from party seat Kunnamangalam.
In the bypoll to be held for the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat, vacant after the resignation of sitting MP Kunhalikutty, the IUML will field Abdussamad Samadani.
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