UDF candidate and IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty won the Malappuram Lok Sabha by-poll with a massive lead of over 1.7 lakh votes on Monday. Gaining a total of over 5 lakh votes, the iconic politician held a comfortable lead from the very beginning and never looked under any sort of threat. 

 

Even from his early days as a politician, Kunhalikutty has been the blue-eyed boy of the Panakkad Thangal family, which calls the shots for the IUML in Kerala. And with him romping home in the by-poll and now setting himself up for the spotlight at national level, let's take a sneak peak at the IUML master strategist.

 

Personal life

 

Kunhalikutty was born near Panakkad as the son of Pandikkadavath Mohammed Haji and Fathimakutty. A BCom graduate from Sir Syed College in Thaliparamba, he also has a PG diploma in Business Management. He is popularly known as 'Kunjappa', among his supporters in both Malappuram and Kozhikode, a nickname originally given by his mother. Always a family fan, Kunhalikutty is married to KM Kulsu, with whom he has a son and a daughter.

 

Farming

 

Kunjappa is an avid farmer and does not shy away from stepping out into the fields and taking care of the vegetable cultivation himself at the farm near his residence. The IUML leader makes it a point that vegetables are cultivated and rarely purchased at his residence, whether it is Malappuram or Thiruvananthapuram, and from now on possibly in Lutyens' Delhi too. His Panakkad abode is also home to ornamental fish farming.

 

Yoga and morning walks

 

Kunhalikutty has also been a yoga practitioner for more than five years now. It is understood that he never had a yoga guru and started practising the asanas with the help of a book he randomly stumbled on and got hooked to. The IUML leader makes sure he does yoga for 15 minutes after his morning walk everyday. And now he claims he has become so good that he can even teach some of the asanas.
 

Phenomenal election record

 

Kunhalikutty boasts a near-perfect record in elections. He contested Kerala Assembly polls eight times, winning seven and winning comfortably. The only time he was defeated was in 2006 when he lost to his former co-worker in IUML KT Jaleel by a margin of just 8,781 votes. And now, by winning the by-poll in his first ever Parliament bid with ease, Kunjappa has made a statement that the streak will continue.

 

Controversies

 

Kunhalikutty's political career was not without controversies. The IUML leader was haunted by a few accusations during the last three decades but none more than the infamous ice cream parlour scandal, which had threatened to derail his political career. However, as today's number show, Kunjappa has clearly kept the trust and support of his millions of followers.