Tahlka News Desk:
Malappuram: Former Minister of kerala Indian Muslim League (IUML) PK kunhalikutty won the race of Malappuram by poll by 171,038 lakh votes on Monday.
kunhalikutty defeats CPI (M)'s MB Faizal by an major margin of 1,94,000 votes in 2014. The by poll required after death of sitting MP and IUML leader Ahamed.
The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate N Sreeprakash came a distant third garnering 65,662 votes. United Democratic Front (UDF) and Left Democratic Front (LDF) had criticised the saffron party vehemently over beef ban and cow vigilantism during their month-long campaign
Earlier Kunhalikutty came out of his home as jubilant supporters shouted slogans and lifted him up.
"It is a victory of secular forces. In the present political climate this victory assumes much significance," said Kunhalikutty, adding that he will work hard to float a platform of all secular forces.
The outcome of the poll could well be the first indicator on how well the 10-month-old Pinarayi Vijayan government has functioned. CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said the bypoll will be a referendum on the government.
"League played a dirty game to polarise votes on communal lines," said defeated candidate MB Faizal, adding that it was not a political victory. In Malappuram, Muslims comprise 65%, 30% Hindus and 5% Christians.
A seasoned politician Kunhalikutty (66) is known as the main trouble shooter of the Congress-led UDF. When the Congress and Muslim League ties vitiated on a number of occasions, including the post-Babri Masjid period, he played a crucial role in ironing out wrinkles and kept the secular face of the League intact. He became an MLA in 1982 and was inducted into K Karunakaran cabinet at a young age in 1991. Later, he joined AK Antony and Oommen Chandy governments.