After ally KC(M) decides to give up seat, CPI(M) announces own candidate in Kuttiyadi

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Thiruvananthapuram,Mar 15 (PTI) The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Monday announced its own candidate for Kuttiyadi seat in Kozhikode district, allotted earlier to Kerala Congress (M), after the latter decided to return it considering the political situation prevailing there.

Hundreds of CPI(M) workers had taken to the streets of Kuttiyadi on Wednesday in protest against the party leadership's decision to offer the seat to its ally KC(M), which joined the LDF a few months ago.

The protesting CPI(M) cadres had demanded that the party retain the seat instead of handing it over to the KC(M).

In a party statement on Sunday, KC(M) chairman Jose K Mani said the decision to return the seat to the CPI(M) was taken to protect the unity in the LDF.

P K Kunhammed Kutty Master, the party's Kozhikode district secretariat member, would contest as the LDF candidate from Kuttiyadi, a CPI(M) statement said here.

'The State Committee has accepted the district committee's direction in this regard,' it said.

Meanwhile, CPI, the second largest partner in the LDF, on Monday, replaced Ajith Koladi with Niyas Pulikkalakath as its candidate in Tirurangadi constituency in Malappuram district.

The decision to field Pulikklakath, who is also the chairman of state-run CIDCO, as its independent candidate was taken in view of the brewing discontent among Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) activists against the candidature of the party's state general secretary K P A Majeed.

Though Koladi had already begun campaigning, the party decided to replace him with Pulikkalakath considering the latter's winnability, party sources said.

CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said here that the unanimous recommendation by the party's Malappuram district council in this regard has been accepted by the state council.

At the same time, the Congress-led UDF, the major opposition front, would field its own candidate at Vadakara in Kozhikode as RMP leader K K Rema, widow of slain leader T P Chandrasekharan, backtracked from her reported decision to contest from the constituency.

UDF convener M M Hassan said the Congress would field a stronger candidate in the segment. PTI LGK BN BN