Despite contesting as an independent candidate, former Municipal Counsellor Karat Faizal made a (un)surprising win in Choondupuram ward of Koduvally. Interestingly, the LDF candidate Abdul Rasheed of the Indian National League received zero votes as compared to Faisal’s 568. This has called into question the legitimacy of Faizal’s “independent stature” and the INL candidate. Notably, the candidate didn’t even vote for himself, let alone his comrades. The UDF and others have alleged that the Faizal drama was an elaborate ploy by the left to fool the people. The precision is remarkable. The LDF candidate — referred to as dummy by the opposition and election pundits — got zero votes, indicating that not even the candidate voted for himself.
Sources had reported that the left alliance had named the National Secular Conference leader as one of their candidates but dropped him since he had attracted criticism from the opposition and the public. Faizal is no stranger to controversies, and this year his name was attached to the gold smuggling scandal. Customs officials had taken him for questioning, and in an official release, the Customs agency had claimed that Faisal was allegedly “involved in selling the first consignment of gold smuggled into the Thiruvananthapuram airport”.
Interestingly, his history with the Motor Vehicle Department and the infamous Mini Cooper had been a part of the ‘Karat Faizal controversy’ for a while. The car has reached infamy for having been used by CPM leaders for their travelling. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had used the car for a Jana Jagratha Yatra, going so far as to claim that it was a rental. After emerging victorious, thanks to some ploy by the CPM-backed LDF and some smokescreen, Karat Faizal took a victory lap in his latest Mini Cooper, which is yet to be registered.
Celebrations following the NDA win in Palakkad Municipality has resulted in a very controversial incident. The winning BJP hung a huge banner with Shivaji’s image with the words ‘Jai Shri Ram’. While this is a common incident in the Northern states, it is uncommon in Kerala and unbecoming of a democracy. BJP state spokesperson Sandeep G Varier shared a video of their victory rally in which you can hear the BJP members shout ‘Jai Shree Ram’.
After winning an additional four seats, taking their total tally to a comfortable majority of 28, Sandeep claimed that Palakkad Municipality is the Gujarat of Kerala. However, many have questioned the use of a Jai Shri Ram banner on the Municipality building, starting controversies regarding the communalisation of a government institution.
No examples mentioned above happened in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, or any BJP states. It happened in the self-proclaimed ‘developed Kerala’. They are at the same time ridiculous and a dangerous mockery of the democratic values that we seem to hold up in high regard.