Kerala unit of Janata Dal-S in disarray


Thiruvananthapuram : The Janata Dal-Secular, until recently an ally of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), is in trouble. One section has has quit the alliance while another wants to remain with the Marxists.

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The problems confronting the JD-S came to the fore after its request that it be given the Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat was turned down by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which heads the LDF.

The Kerala JD-S, led by media baron M.P. Veerendra Kumar, has over the years survived several splits. History is set to repeat itself with two of its five state legislators openly defying Kumar.

Kumar was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 from Kozhikode but the CPI-M told him this time to contest from Wayanad.

In protest, Kumar withdrew from the government of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan JD-S nominee Mathew T. Thomas, Kerala’s transport minister. He also vowed to defeat LDF candidates all over Kerala.

On Wednesday, two legislators, former minister Thomas and Jose Thettayil, said they preferred to be with the LDF.

In New Delhi, JD-S spokesman Danish Ali announced that his party would continue in the LDF.

A delegation led by Thomas also met former prime minister H.D. Deva Gowda in Mangalore and asked him to convince Kumar to remain in the LDF.

K. Krishnankutty, the JD-S secretary general, told reporters that there was no going back on the decision of the state party to work against LDF candidates.

“The CPI-M has ditched us. There is no question of reversing our decision,” said Krishnankutty, a close aide of Kumar.