LDF mulls fielding ex-footballer Sharaf Ali to wrest Eranad from IUML

Sharaf Ali
U Sharaf Ali was a key player of the Kerala Police football team in the 1990s.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is toying with the idea of fielding former Indian footballer U Sharaf Ali as an independent candidate in Malappuram's Eranad constituency in the upcoming assembly polls.

The Eranad assembly seat falls under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Rahul Gandhi.

The LDF is hoping to wrest the seat from Indian Union Muslim League's P K Basheer, banking on the 56-year-old Sharaf Ali's popularity in his hometown.

Basheer had defeated LDF's K T Abdurahiman by a margin of 12,893 votes in 2016.

"It's true that there has been some informal talks regarding me contesting the polls. Though I hail from a Congress family, I have had an inclination to the Left. Having said that I would like to make it clear that in my duties as a policeman I was always impartial," the former defender told Onmanorama.

Sharaf Ali is popular in his hometown.
Sharaf Ali is popular in his hometown.

The LDF, opposition United Democratic Front and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance are all set to field a host of young candidates in the assembly polls.

This would mean that many sitting legislators would be rested. Informal parleys have already begun on candidate selection and seat sharing.

Sharaf Ali
Sharaf Ali was a member of the Kerala team which won the Santosh Trophy in 1992 and 1993.

Sharaf Ali was part of the Kerala Police team which won the Federation Cup in 1990 and 1991. He formed a strong backline with the late V P Sathyan. The likes of strikers C V Pappachan and I M Vijayan made the Kerala Police team a force to reckon with in the early 90s.

Sharaf Ali was also a member of the Kerala team which won the Santosh Trophy in 1992 and 1993.

He made his international debut in 1986. After joining Kerala Police as a 19-year-old, Sharaf Ali retired from Rapid Response and Rescue Force last May.

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