PK Kunhalikutty to return to Kerala politics, says will contest assembly polls

Kunhalikuttty revealed his party's plan to bring him back to state politics at a press meet in Thiruvananthapuram.

Indian Union Muslim League leader and Malappuram MP P K Kunhalikutty will contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Kerala. Kunhalikuttty revealed his party's plan to bring him back to state politics at a press meet in Malappuram on Wednesday.

Kunhalikutty made it clear that he will be contesting in the Assembly polls. He also clarified that he will quit as an MP at such a time so that the resultant bypoll could be held along with the state election.

He will have to quit his Lok Sabha membership if he is elected to the Assembly.

As per the party plan, Kunhalikutty and M K Muneer, another prominent leader of the IUML and the deputy leader of opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, will be based more in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital and the epicentre of the state politics, rather than in the northern party bastions.

The leaders said the party will launch a campaign against the CPM's attempt to brand the IUML as a communal outfit.

“The CPM which projects itself as the saviour of secularism contested the local body polls in tie-up with even the SDPI. They benefited in the polls from such communal alliance. We will expose the CPM's tie-up with SDPI with the support of poll data,” they said.

They said the IUML will convince the people of Kerala that the attempts to weaken the IUML, a secular outfit, will end up strengthening communal organisations.

The IUML's decision has come close on the heels of the Congress-led UDF's poor performance in the recent local body polls. The front's failure to cash in on the controversies that put the CPM-led LDF government under a cloud of suspicion over a series of allegations, had come as a shocker for both insiders as well as political analysts.

The League's decision assumes significance at a time when at least some in the political circles believe that minority votes, especially the Muslim community, have been rallying behind the CPM-led front as they consider the latter as the only viable political entity capable of stopping the RSS/BJP's attempt to make inroads into the state.

The IUML had recently called for a change at the helm of the Congress prompting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take a dig at the opposition front. Vijayan had issued a statement suggesting that Muslim League was calling the shots in the UDF. Congress leaders reacted sharply to the remark which they said was aimed at creating communal divisions in the state.

In an immediate reaction to the development, Congress leader K Sudhakaran said the UDF will benefit from the League's decision.

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