M.K. Premnath, secretary general of a faction of the Socialist Janata (Democratic) [SJ(D)], has urged the rival SJ(D) faction headed by M.P. Veerendrakumar to leave the alliance with the Congress and merge with the Janata Dal(S) led by Mathew T. Thomas to strengthen the movement for a third alternative at the Centre.
At a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Premnath said that Mr. Veerendrakumar had lost all excuse to continue alliance with the Congress after the Prime Minister’s statement that the signing of the nuclear pact with the United States was one of his major achievements. Had not Mr. Veerendrakumar openly declared that he was in full agreement with Samadwadi Party’s anti-nuclear stand? Premnath asked.
Mr. Premanath said the SJ(D) faction led by K. Krishnankutty and Janata Dal (S) headed by Mr. Mathew would merge at a convention to be held in Palakkad on February 4.
He said after the merger, the SJ(D) faction led by Mr. Veerendrakumar would not have any political relevance.
Appealing to Mr. Veerendrakumar to merge his group in the Janata Dal (S), Mr. Premnath said the SJ(D) led by Veerendrakumar had no presence beyond the State’s borders and that its alliance with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala was only an interim arrangement that could be snapped anytime.
Appealing to Mr. Veerendrakumar to break the alliance with the UDF, Mr. Premnath claimed no major socialist leader had attended the SJ(D) convention of Mr.Veerendrakumar’s faction held in Thiruvananthapuram recently. He alleged that Mr. Veerendrakumar had “in an undemocratic fashion” sidelined him (Premnath) and Mr. Krishnankutty. This had prompted them to merge with the Janata Dal (S).
Mr. Premnath said the political relevance of a third front had increased more than ever and claimed the merger of Janata Dal groups would give a new dimension to national politics. There was an urgent need for the emergence of a third force of secular forces ‘‘since the Congress-led UPA government had failed to contain price rise,” he said.