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Token Dispute at Kasaragod Election Office Sparks Unnithan's Sit-in Protest

On April 3, 2024, a token allocation dispute for nomination papers in Kasaragod led to a political standoff, underscoring deep-seated issues of fairness.

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Dil Bar Irshad
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Token Dispute at Kasaragod Election Office Sparks Unnithan's Sit-in Protest

Token Dispute at Kasaragod Election Office Sparks Unnithan's Sit-in Protest

On April 3, 2024, in Kasaragod, a token allocation dispute for submitting nomination papers escalated when UDF candidate and incumbent MP Rajmohan Unnithan staged a sit-in outside the District Collector's office. Alleging bias, Unnithan accused the authorities of unfairly favoring LDF candidate M.V. Balakrishnan, leading to a tense standoff.

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Roots of the Conflict

Unnithan's protest was sparked by his claim that despite arriving first at the district Civil Station to file his nomination papers, he was unjustly denied the first token. This token is crucial for candidates wishing to file their papers at an auspicious time. The situation intensified when Balakrishnan's proposer, Aziz Kadapuram, suggested that CCTV footage be reviewed to verify the timing of arrivals, a proposition that hinted at the depth of the dispute.

Efforts to Mediate

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The controversy caught the attention of several political figures, including CPI(M) acting district secretary C.H. Kunhambu, who attempted to mediate without success. MLA A.K.M. Ashraf's subsequent protest in support of Unnithan further highlighted the political divisions. Despite these tensions, District Collector K. Inbasekar maintained that the token distribution was conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consequences and Reactions

Amidst the deadlock, Unnithan proceeded to file his nomination papers before the Deputy Collector, a move that underscored his determination to contest the elections despite the procedural hurdles. This incident not only illuminated the competitive nature of politics in Kerala but also raised questions about the fairness of administrative processes in election-related matters.

This dispute in Kasaragod has therefore not just been about the allocation of a token but has touched upon deeper issues of fairness, transparency, and the integrity of electoral procedures. As the dust settles, the episode serves as a reminder of the complex interplay between politics, administration, and the pursuit of justice.

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