KASARAGOD: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has named the party’s Kasaragod district president M C Kamaruddin as its candidate in Manjeshwar for the byelection to be held on October 21. The party faced turbulence when supporters of Manjeshwar block panchayat president and Youth League leader A K M Ashraf staged a protest at the Panakkad House, the headquarters of the party, rooting for his candidature on Tuesday. With Kamaruddin’s candidature, Muslim League is the first one to announce a candidate for the constituency. “Everybody will like to contest from Manjeshwar because it is a sure seat for the League. But the party declares the candidate, all will rally behind him,” Kamaruddin told Express.
To be sure, the local leaders have lowered their hood. “We will be working together to ensure a massive victory for Kamaruddin,” said Ashraf. Though the IUML considers Manjeshwar as its “sure seat”, the party got a scare in 2016 Assembly election when BJP narrowed the winning margin of P B Abdul Razak to 89 votes. This time, it is not taking any chances. The IUML has made its national general secretary and tall leader P K Kunhalikutty as the party’s election campaign chief in Manjeshwar. Kamaruddin said that no one should go by the 2016 margin of 89 votes. “It was an aberration. We are going to the byelection with a lead of around 11,000 votes which Rajmohan Unnithan got in the Manjeshwar segment during the Lok Sabha election this year,” he said. “We will only better that figure,” he said.