Kerala

LJD-JD(S) ready for merger

It has become a necessity for the survival of both parties

Merger talks between the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) and the Janata Dal (Secular) have once again returned to the centre stage of Kerala politics after a hiatus with the leadership of the two parties finally agreeing in principle to be a single entity in the State.

The move for merger is borne out of necessity as the political survival of both these parties is at stake. In fact, the unification of the LJD and the JD(S) had gained traction after the entry of the former to the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the State before the Lok Sabha polls. Their leaders held official and unofficial parleys recently.

The proposal for the merger announced by JD(S) State president C.K. Nanu comes at a time when the LJD led by M.P. Veerendrakumar and his son M.V. Shreyams Kumar has been in political wilderness with no elected representatives in the State. What has stoked the proposal is the JD(S) losing its relevance in Karnataka, one of its strongholds, after the Assembly bypolls in the State.

The LJD is also on the horns of a dilemma with its national unit led by its founder Sharad Yadav planning to merge with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Besides, it has been battling to stay afloat in the State politics as many of its sympathisers were found deserting the party which has been changing its name too often.

Now the party has constituted a five-member subcommittee, including its secretary general Sheikh P. Harris, to take a final call on the prevailing situation, including the merger with the JD(S), a party functionary told The Hindu on Wednesday.

It leadership has weighed three options — amalgamation with the JD (S), merging the party with the Uttar Pradesh-based Samajwadi Party and reviving a socialist platform at the national level. The subcommittee would hold a meeting in Kozhikode on December 21 and the State committee would be held the next day.

Certainly, the party will decide on these aspects before the three-tier local body polls next year. Leadership of both the parties believed that the merger would increase their bargaining power in the Left coalition, party sources said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 1:24:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ljd-jds-ready-for-merger/article30278537.ece

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