INL replaces Siraj

It fields S.M. Basheer who quit Cong.

The Indian National League (INL) bowed to the pressure from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and replaced Poonthura Siraj, who was suggested as the candidate for the Manikyavilakam ward, on Tuesday.

Mr. Siraj’s candidature has been a subject of much consternation within the Left Democratic Front (LDF) with the INL resolving, albeit briefly, to go ahead with its decision in the face of opposition by the CPI(M) that refused to associate with the former vice president of the Abdul Nasser Maudany-founded People Democratic Party (PDP)

While the INL leadership considered boycotting the polls, they decided against taking such a drastic step at its district committee meeting on the day. Party district president J. Thamrook said Mr. Siraj offered to step aside to prevent the party from surrendering its sitting seat. Priya Biju of the INL had won from Manikyavilakom with a majority of over 450 votes in 2015. It has now fielded S.M. Basheer who quit the Congress to join the INL earlier on the day. He had unsuccessfully contested from Manikyavilakom in 2010.

Mr. Basheer was apparently considered by the Congress for the ward.

The decision to relent to the CPI(M)’s demand has not gone down well with a section of the INL leaders. District treasurer A.L. Kasim accused the CPI(M) of ignoring political propriety.

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