JD-S in Kerala heading for a split

April 23rd, 2009 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 23 (IANS) With sharp divisions in the five-member legislature party of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in Kerala over links with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), it appears that it is only matter of time before the party’s state unit splits.

The party’s relations with the LDF worsened when the JD-S state unit chief and sitting MP from Kozhikode M.P.Veerendra Kumar was denied the seat by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). He was, instead, offered the newly set up Wayanad seat, which he declined.

Expressing its dissatisfaction, the JD-S asked party legislator and state Transport Minister Mathew T.Thomas to resign from the cabinet.

Though Thomas complied, he and another party legislator, Jose Thettyil, dashed to Mangalore early this month to meet party’s national president H.D. Deva Gowda to convey their stand that they do not wish to walk out of the LDF.

While the faction led by Veerendra Kumar actively campaigned against all the LDF candidates in the April 16 Lok Sabha polls, Thomas and Thettyil campaigned for the LDF candidates.

The two also have the support of the majority faction of the CPI-M, led by state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who has already announced that soon after the Lok Sabha polls, a new minister from the JD-S will be inducted. However, both Veerendra Kumar and Chief Minister V.S Achuthanandan have ruled this out.

Reacting to this, Thettyil told reporters Thursday that nobody has authorised Kumar to say that the party does not need to have any minister.

“There are issues for our party in the LDF and the national leadership has asked Kumar to sort out that. He is not authorised to decide on whether our party needs a minister or not. Something is fishy in Kumar saying that the party does not need a minister,” said Thettyil who is widely tipped to join the cabinet.

With the JD-S’s chief whip M.K. Premnath Thursday issuing a whip, the JD-S seems set for a split as as both Thomas and Thettyil are defiant on their stand.

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