K K Lathika sitting pretty in land of expatriates

The main contenders this time are sitting MLA, K.K. Lathika (LDF) and Parakkal Abdulla (UDF).

Maniyoor: Kuttiadi in Kozhikode district, which was an agrarian region earlier, is now the land of expatriates . Every household has at least one member abroad, and in places like Maniyur and Purameri the entire families are in Gulf countries. But the constituency has not shed its affinity towards the Left, as Kuttiady (formerly known as Meppayyur) has sent only left MLAs to the Assembly.

The main contenders this time are sitting MLA, K.K. Lathika (LDF) and Parakkal Abdulla (UDF). This is Lathika’s third fight and the MLA is confident of victory. “I belong to Kunnummal where I was the panchayat president for long. Every nook and cranny of Kuttiyady and the people are familiar to me,” she told DC.

Lathika, wife of CPM district secretary P. Mohanan, is known as a strong leader who doesn’t mind going the extra mile to protect her party. “When there was a police lathicharge on CPM workers a couple of years ago in Nadapuram, I remember Lathika shouting against the police officer and challenging him publicly,” said A.R. Nanu, a shop owner in Purameri.

“The people have no complaint against me as a legislator,” Lathika says. In 2011, she won with a majority of 6,972 votes. Of the eight grama panchayats in Kuttiyady, the LDF rules six and the UDF two. But the concern for LDF is the lead Mr Mullapally Ramachandran MP had in the last Lok Sabha election and the lead the UDF had in the recent panchayat poll.

A single campaign vehicle, a jeep and half a dozen SFI/DYFI workers accompany Lathika. She was greeted by everyone when she entered a hotel in Kakkattil for lunch. She holds together a team of youngsters and asks about the flash mob being planned in Aayanchery. “That was all planned Lathikechi…,” beams a girl in response.

The UDF candidate is one of the richest in the district with many businesses here and abroad. When DC team traced him, he was in Kunnathukara in Maniyur panchayat visiting colonies. “No basic facilities have reached here despite the LDF ruling for many years. Drinking water problem and narrow roads are issues of concern,” he points out.

Abdulla has a bandage on his left leg, still he stops on the way to greet each person. “Maniyur could be made an educational hub utilizing the land availability and tranquil atmosphere,” Abdulla said while passing through Palayadunada.
“The people are fed up with the violent politics here. Development is the solution and the UDF offers that,” he says.

After visiting the colonies, he attended a family meet at a house in Kunnathukara. After a brief speech, the local party men took him to the neighbouring mosque to meet the people who return after offering Namaz.

Mr Ramadas Manalery, (NDA) seeks votes on the charisma of Mr Narendra Modi. His request is to give a chance to the NDA to prove what all changes a legislator could bring about in a constituency.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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