Congress-led UDF gets new ally in Kerala


Kochi : The United Democratic Front (UDF) Tuesday got its ninth ally in Kerala after the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) faction led by prominent socialist M.P. Veerendrakumar joined it.

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With the three legislators of the Veerendrakumar faction, the strength of the Congress-led UDF in the 140-member house goes up to 45. A meeting of the UDF held here last month gave the formal clearance to the JD-S faction joining the front.

“We are certainly delighted to have a party like JD-S into our fold. Their main grouse in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was that there was no freedom for allies,” UDF convenor P.P. Thankachan told reporters here after a meeting of the UDF here.

Referring to the Communist Party of India-Marxist that heads the LDF, he said: “The writ of CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan prevails in the LDF and none has any freedom there.”

Speaking at the UDF meeting after joining it, Veerendrakumar said: “In the past, circumstances were such that my party had differences with the Congress. But now, it is no longer so, and we have decided to work with the UDF.”

The Veerendrakumar faction of the JD-S separated from the LDF after a split in the party. The other faction with two legislators has remained with the ruling LDF.

Veerendrakumar was part of the LDF since its inception in the late ’70s and it was during the last Lok Sabha polls that differences surfaced when he was denied his Kozhikode seat and was asked to contest the newly constituted Wayanad constituency. But he refused. Following this, the Veerendrakumar faction broke away from the LDF and supported the UDF in the polls.