Although the high-level secretariat meeting of the party being held at Kozhikode on Monday will finalise the candidates for Malappuram and Ponnani constituencies, the IUML's top leadership does not favour a change of the existing candidates. E.T. Mohammed Basheer and Ahamed are likely to contest the elections one more time from Ponnani and Malappuram, reported The Hindu.
"We will not ask Ahamed Sahib, who is our senior-most leader with a national standing, to step down. It is up to him to decide whether to contest or not, depending on his health," said IUML State general secretary K.P.A. Majeed.
Senior IUML leaders, not willing to be quoted, said that it was a time when the party needed the experience and skills of Ahamed at the national level. They said that the party could not ignore the fact that it got a ministerial berth twice in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre largely because of his diplomatic skills.
Ahamed said that he was in good health. "By the grace of God, I have no health problems now. But as a loyal party man, it is my duty to abide by the decisions of the party. I will obey what the party says," he said.
Ahamed also indicated that there was no situation where he had to step down. Sources said that the party national president was fit and prepared enough to try yet another term as an experienced parliamentarian.
In the last Assembly elections, the party had fielded Abdussamad Samadani in Kottakkal and K.N.A. Khader in Vallikkunnu in spite of the demands by the cadres against it.