PK Kunhalikutty — Indian Union Muslim League senior leader and Member of Parliament from Malappuram — has decided to resign his parliament position and will contest in the Kerala assembly election next years. Attending a press conference, Kunhalikutty said that his resignation and subsequent participation in the assembly election is the party’s decision, as well as the UDF’s and not just his alone.
Kannur MP and senior Congress leader K Sudhakaran said that the League’s decision to bring in Kunhalikutty would be beneficial to UDF, and he added that the High Command would decide if any Kerala Congress MPs would be contesting for the Assembly election next year. Meanwhile, IUML general secretary KPA Majeed said that Kunhalikutty’s participation is essential. Addressing other concerns, Majeed added that the IUML has compromised on secular demands and if anyone feels otherwise, then the party would work hard to rectify that. The same was echoed by Kunhalikutty.
Addressing media questions, the MP said that he and IUML senior member MK Muneer would be leading the charge from Thiruvananthapuram. Kunhalikutty added that he would time his resignation in such a way that the Assembly election and the Lok Sabha by-election would coincide.
Political observers say that the decision to bring back Kunhalikutty can be seen as UDF’s efforts to gain traction for the assembly elections following their loss at the local polls. “The people of erstwhile Central Travancore have always placed their faith in the UDF. They have stood with the UDF, and they would continue to do so. They have no reason not to stay with us now or ever,” he added.
The IUML leaders also addressed CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s earlier Facebook post and said that they would campaign against the LDF trying to picture them as a communal party. “CPM, who tries to present themselves as a secular party, worked with SDPI in many parts to mark such a victory. We will make sure that the people of Kerala know that as the CPM tries to weaken secular parties like the IUML, they are actually giving strength to communal elements in the state,” the party leaders said during the meeting.