JD(S) in Kerala to form new party

JD(S), which is part of the Left front in the state, was in a spot after national leader H D Kumaraswamy joined the Narendra Modi cabinet.
 JD(S) state chief Mathew T Thomas
JD(S) state chief Mathew T Thomas (File Photo | EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Eager to wriggle out of the tough situation it has found itself in after the party national leadership joined hands with the BJP, the Janata Dal (S) in Kerala has decided to form a new party.

The party leadership meet held at the state committee office in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday decided to form a party sporting a new name, flag and symbol.

JD(S), which is part of the Left front in the state, was in a spot after national leader H D Kumaraswamy joined the Narendra Modi cabinet.

The party unit in Kerala had immediately announced its decision to continue with the LDF. However, both the UDF and the BJP have been attacking the Left over JD(S) being part of the Left cabinet in Kerala and Modi cabinet at the Centre.

The UDF has been demanding that the CM seek the resignation of party minister K Krishnankutty from the Left cabinet.

Announcing the decision to form a new party, JD(S) state chief Mathew T Thomas said the new party would adhere to socialist principles and tread the path of Jaya Prakash Narayanan and Ram Manohar Lohia. It would be part of the Left front, while simultaneously remaining as an independent political entity.

The leadership has formed a panel to finalise the name and other related formalities.

“The new name will be registered soon. A final decision will be taken after looking into the legal aspects too in this regard. If the national leadership decides to cut ties with the BJP, the Kerala unit will go back to the party,” Mathew Thomas said.

The JD(S) has decided not to merge with any party, including RJD, for the time being. A decision on merger with the Samajwadi Party will be taken later, said sources.

“It has been decided not to merge with RJD. However, the option of merger with SP will be decided later. Since it will be a new party, there’s no reason for the MLAs to resign,” said a senior leader.

“The party in Kerala has already severed ties with the national leadership and hence, there’s no need to inform the national leadership,” the leader said.

Though the Kerala JD(S) had announced that it had severed ties with the national leadership, technically it remained as the Kerala unit of the JD(S) led by Deve Gowda. A few senior leaders like C K Nanu and Neelalohithadas were unhappy with the Kerala unit’s dilly-dallying. Moving away from the official faction could lead to disqualification of the two JD(S) MLAs -Mathew Thomas and K Krishnankutty - in the state. It’s in this backdrop that Mathew Thomas announced the decision to form a new party.

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