Kerala: IUML strongman Kunhalikutty returns to centre stage

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 17:33

Thiruvanathapuram: For 60-year-old P K Kunhalikutty who was embroiled in an infamous sex scandal, his
induction in the UDF ministry in Kerala marks a return to the
centre stage as only a few months back there was a question
mark over his political survival.

Despite the LDF harping on the `Ice cream parlour sex scandal` in the runup to the Assembly polls, Kunhalikutty led
the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a partner in the
Congress-led UDF, to a spectacular victory bagging 20 of the
24 seats it contested.
The IUML leader himself won by a margin of over 30,000
votes from Vengara in the Muslim heartland of Malappuram. He
is tipped to get the Industries portfolio, which he held in
1991-96 and 2001-05 ministries.

Kunhalikutty, who entered politics through IUML`s student
wing Muslim Students Federation (MSF), was elected to the
Kerala Assembly in 1982, 1987, 1991 and 2001.

He quit as Industries Minister from the Congress-led UDF
government in 2005 after coming under a cloud of allegations
in connection with the sex scandal.
Though Kunhalikutty never figured as an accused in the
case, opposition parties had alleged that he was involved in
it.

The scam returned to haunt him again after one of his
relative confessed his role in bribing girls to keep
Kunhalikutty`s name out of their testimony in the case.

Seizing on it, former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan
ordered a fresh investigation in the case.

The resurfacing of the scandal few months before the
Assembly polls was used as a weapon against the IUML leader by
LDF during electioneering, but Kunhalikutty came out as the
winner in the elections.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 17:33

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