Kerala unit of JD (U) quits UDF, to work with Left

| | Kochi

The Kerala unit of the Janata Dal (United) on Friday officially decided to quit the Congress-led Opposition UDF severing a seven-year-long relationship and to cooperate with the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF. The Congress termed the JD (U)’s decision as an act of political betrayal.

Claiming that the decision to quit the UDF and to work with the Left was taken unanimously, State JD (U) president MP Veerendra Kumar said that the association with the UDF had brought only political losses to his party. However, he said the JD (U) had not yet discussed the issue of joining the LDF with its leadership.

“We are leaving the UDF but we keep full respect to its leaders. We haven’t been ungrateful to the UDF,” Veerendra Kumar said. The decision to quit the UDF and work with the Left was taken by the JD (U) by passing a resolution to the effect at a meeting of its State council on Friday at Thiruvananthapuram.

“We are basically socialists and this is a time socialists, communists and all those who stood for democracy joined hands against the BJP. Despite its talk about nationality and patriotism, the Sangh Pariwar is selling the country off to corporate and multinationals. The situation demands the coming together of socialists, democrats and the Left in this situation,” he said.

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, State secretary of the CPI(M) which is leading the LDF and Kanam Rajendran, his counterpart in the CPI, its second biggest constituent, had the other day welcomed the move of the JD-U after reports on that had come out. The JD (U) has been preparing to leave the UDF for the past several months.

The Kerala JD (U), a splinter group of the Janata Dal (S), was a prominent partner of the LDF for forty years but Veerendra Kumar, State chief of the then JD-S, and his supporters severed the relationship in 2009 after the CPI (M) unilaterally took over the Kozhikode seat from it during the run-up to the general election held that year.

Veerendra Kumar rechristened his group of the JD (S) as Socialist Janata – Democratic (SJ-D) at the time of becoming an ally of the UDF seven years ago. It had won two of the six seats it had contested for the UDF in the 2011 Assembly election. The SJ-D merged in the JD (U) and Veerendra Kumar became JD-U’s Kerala chief in December, 2014.

However, problems began to mar the relations between the UDF and the JD (U) (SJ-D) after Veerendra Kumar, the front’s candidate, was defeated in the Palakkad seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll prompting his party to complain about leg-pulling by the Congress. In the 2016 Assembly election, the JD (U) contested in seven seats and lost them all.

When it was pushed into an existential and political crisis after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar decided to ally with the BJP-led NDA, the State JD (U) had decided to stand by Sharad Yadav. They had then taken a position that being socialists upholding democratic and secular principles, they could not approve of what Nitish Kumar had done.

“Veerendra Kumar should have shown the minimum decency to inform the UDF about his party’s decision to leave the front,” said Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress. “He should have remembered that it was the UDF which had given them refuge when the CPI(M) had kicked them out of the LDF in 2009,” he said.



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