The move, planned to be set in motion after the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results, aims to keep the state unit within the Left front.
The move, planned to be set in motion after the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results, aims to keep the state unit within the Left front.

Kerala: New party or merger? JDS state unit exploring options to stay with LDF

Move likely to be set in motion after the Lok Sabha election results are declared on June 4.

KOCHI: Should a favourable political scenario emerge at the national level, the state unit of the Janata Dal (S) is considering the formation of a new party by merging with small, like-minded political groups that have a local base.

The move, planned to be set in motion after the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results, aims to keep the state unit within the Left front. Insiders indicate that the state unit of the NCP Sharad Pawar faction may also join the new party.

Fears of disqualification have held back the Janata Dal (S) state unit and its two MLAs — Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty and Mathew T Thomas — from moving ahead with the new party plans. However, recent controversies involving national president H D Deve Gowda’s grandson, Prajwal Revanna, have accelerated the Kerala unit’s efforts to float a new party.

The state unit had already severed ties with the national leadership following its poll alliance with the BJP. Party leaders believe they can no longer continue under the current name and symbol in the state, even if national president Deve Gowda ends the BJP alliance. In a recent meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, the state leaders reviewed the political situation and decided to proceed with the formation of a new party.

Reports indicate that former minister Jose Thettayil is being considered for the post of the new party’s president. To avoid disqualification, Krishnankutty and Mathew Thomas will not join the new party immediately. But the state unit will eventually merge into it, ensuring the legislators’ positions do not come under the purview of disqualification.

Additionally, the party is exploring mergers with small parties that have a political base, such as the Kerala Congress Scaria Thomas faction, Democratic Kerala Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). However, the party leaders said, as of now, there is no plan for a merger with any constituent of the LDF or any other party.

Thettayil told TNIE that no decision has been taken on either merger or the floating of a new party. “We will decide the future course of action after the Lok Sabha poll results are announced,” he said.

The Janata Dal (S) is also aiming a realignment of Socialist groups and exploring a possible merger with the RJD, an LDF constituent. Although leaders considered merging with the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, that particular party’s state unit is aligned with the Congress-led UDF in Kerala. Previously, the Janata Dal (S) had planned to unite with the state unit of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), but despite several rounds of talks, the merger did not materialise. Last year, the LJD merged with the RJD.

In another political development, the state unit of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction is aligning itself with the Janata Dal (S)’s plans for a new party. Reports of a possible merger of the NCP with the Congress after the elections have motivated the NCP state unit to seek a new direction. Sources indicate that state president P C Chacko and Forest Minister A K Saseendran prefer to remain part of the LDF rather than merge with the Congress.

Thettayil considered for new party prez post

Recent controversies involving JDS nat’l president H D Deve Gowda’s grandson, Prajwal Revanna, have accelerated the Kerala unit’s efforts to float a new party. Reports indicate former minister Jose Thettayil is being considered to the post of the new party’s prez

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The New Indian Express
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