INL adamant on Siraj’s candidature

UDF finalises list in five wards despite local-level opposition

The Manikyavilakam ward of the city Corporation continues to be a thorn in the flesh for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) which had announced candidates for all wards much in advance. The LDF constituent party Indian National League (INL) has refused to change its candidate Poonthura Siraj, former vice president of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who recently joined them, even though the CPI(M) had on Sunday conveyed its displeasure at his candidature and demanded that the INL look for an alternative.

The INL district committee has decided that Mr. Siraj would be their candidate. If the CPI(M) continues to oppose, the INL will stay away from contesting.

“Today, we had a talk with the CPI(M) leadership. We told them that if we are contesting Siraj would be the candidate. We were allocated only the Manikyavilakam ward in the Corporation. When we initially announced our district treasurer Kasim as the candidate, we were told that a candidate with a wider public acceptance should be found. That is why we zeroed in on Poonthura Siraj, who had earlier served many terms in the Corporation council. So, now if they are telling us to find another candidate, we cannot agree to that,” said J.Thamrook, INL district president, on Monday.

Meanwhile, the United Democratic Front (UDF), which has been struggling to finalise candidates in five wards due to the presence of multiple contenders, announced its list of candidates on Monday evening, despite local-level opposition to some of the candidates.

The Congress has fielded its candidates R.Anitha in Thampanoor, Edavakkode Ashokan in Edavakkode and Subair in Manikavilakam. In the Pattom ward, the previously announced candidate Goureesapattom Mohanan has been replaced with Charachira Rajeevan, after the former tested positive for COVID-19. In the Valiyavila ward, Kerala Congress (Jacob) has fielded T.Thara, while in Poonthura Kerala Congress (M) Joseph group has fielded Sruthimol Xavier.

There has been much protest from the local leadership against the choice of candidates both in Edavakkode and Thampanoor. In Edavakkode, the Medical College and Edavakkode mandalam presidents had convened a meeting of Congress workers in protest against the District Congress Committee’s decision to field Edavakkode Ashokan. The DCC had rejected the candidate proposed by the ward committee, leading to protests.

In the Thampanoor ward, there was a dispute over the candidature of Ms.Anitha, whose name was suggested by a former councillor, which was opposed by the constituency committee, which had its own choice of a candidate. The dispute later led to a fight, in which a leader got injured too.

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