No cake walk for Ahamed in Muslim dominated Malappuram
Foraying into electioneering was a cake walk so far for battle-hardened Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, who was elected to the Lower House for six terms, but he may be little bit sceptic this time due to initial opposition over his candidature from Malappuram Lok Sabha seat in Kerala going to polls on April 10.
Overcoming the hurdles by Indian Union Muslim League Malappuram Committee which advocated against fielding him again citing the national President of the party seldom visited the constituency after winning last time, Ahamed is leaving no stones unturned to take on his nearest rival P K Sainaba of the Communist Party of India.
Despite stiff opposition from the committees, the party relied on Ahamed, while considering his experience and performance as a Central minister with plum MOS External Affairs and contribution to the constituency.
National Treasurer and State Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty's statement that party and rank and file are wholeheartedly involved in sending Mr Ahamed once again to Delhi came as a much relief to the veteran leader.
A former State Industries Minister, this five time MLA was earlier elected to Lok Sabha from Manjeri in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and from Ponnani in 2004.
Won Malappuram by a margin of 115,597 votes beating T K Hamza of the CPI (M), Mr Ahamed is also banking on the stronghold of the party which won all the assembly segments -- Kondotty, Vengara, Vallikkunnu, Malappuram, Perinthalmannna, Mankada and Manjeri - which are part of Malappuram LS seat.
In the Muslim dominated Malappuram the IUML is also taking on the progressive outlook of Sainaka, a Muslim, who does not follow religious customs by refraining from wearing purdah and headscarf.
However, he cannot underestimate Sainaba, a political novice as far as elections were concerned, CPI (M) State Committee member and national Vice President of All India Democratic Women Association, who is banking on the flutter created over the candidature of Ahamed.
Besides she is pinning hope on women voters, accounted 59,1120, in the orthodox Muslim constituency.
Earlier voters elected candidates fielded by the party unmindful of the candidates, said a Sainaba camp follower, adding now situation would change.
Some of the others in the fray are N Sree Prakash (BJP), Nasaruddin Elamaram (SDPI) P Ismail (Welfare Party of India).
(Posted on 01-04-2014)