Will elections in Malappuram, Ponnani be a replica of 2019?

IUML's ET Muhammed Basheer; DYFI state president V Vaseef.

Malappuram: With the three major fronts announcing their candidates in Malappuram and Ponnani, it looks like the constituencies are headed for a déjà vu of 2019 this Lok Sabha election.

In Malappuram, this time too, all three fronts are depending on Muslim candidates, considering the district's demographic. Last time, CPM fielded the youngest candidate in the state, SFI national president V P Sanu, against the Indian Union Muslim League's veteran M P Abdussamad Samadani, in Malappuram, widely regarded as an IUML bastion. This time, DYFI state president V Vaseef will take on E T Muhammed Basheer.

Meanwhile, the BJP, who fielded A P Abdullakutty in 2019 and got disappointing results, is hopeful that M Abdul Salam, former Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University, will be able to make inroads for the party this time. Abdul Salam served as VC from 2011 to 2015. He joined the BJP in 2019 and contested from Tirur in the last Assembly elections. He is currently the national vice-president of the Minority Morcha of the BJP.

In 2019, Ponnani saw the League's E T Muhammed Basheer, LDF-backed independent P V Anvar and BJP's K T Rema going head-to-head.

This time too, the CPM stuck to its habit of fielding an independent candidate by backing former IUML leader K S Hamsa. Meanwhile, BJP has decided to yet again field a woman candidate, Adv Niveditha Subramanyan, who was the candidate of the party in the Guruvayoor constituency in the 2016 Assembly election. However, her candidature was rejected in 2021 from the same constituency.

"Calicut University is in the Vallikkunnu Assembly constituency of Malappuram. M Abdul Salam has deep connections there and the BJP has a commendable vote share in Vallikkunnu. On the other hand, by fielding a woman candidate, we hope to be able to sway the voters in Ponnani,” said BJP district president Madathil Ravi.

In 2019, ET retained the Ponnani seat defeating Anvar by a margin of 1,93,273 votes, while Samadani won Malappuram defeating Sanu by a margin of 1,14,692 votes.

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