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JD-U's RS member Veerendra Kumar from Kerala wants to move out of Nitish Kumar faction

The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) led by Veerendra Kumar in Kerala is an ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front and was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala last year.
Reported by: IANS Kozhikode November 29, 2017 15:37 IST
IANS

Senior Janata Dal-United leader and Rajya Sabha member M.P. Veerendra Kumar on Wednesday said he will not continue as member of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's faction.

The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) led by Veerendra Kumar in the state is an ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front and was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala last year. 

Addressing reporters here, Veerendra Kumar said "now the only thing" on his mind was to escape from the politics of Nitish Kumar, president of the JD-U. 

"I will not continue as Rajya Sabha member of Nitish Kumar's party. I have also spoken to leaders of the Janata Dal (Secular) Kerala unit, legislators C.K. Nanu and K. Krishnankutty, but am yet to speak to the third legislator and State Water Resources Minister Mathew T. Thomas. I have no issues to work together with the JD-S," said Veerendra Kumar, who is a leading media baron here.

By announcing that he does not wish to remain with the national leadership of JD-U, 80-year-old Kumar has given clear indication that he will revive the Socialist Janata Democratic (SJD), which he merged with the Sharad Yadav-led JD-U in 2014.

SJD was formed in 2009 when Kumar along with his supporters broke away from the JD-S after he was denied his sitting seat - Kozhikode -- to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha polls by the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).

JD-S was a full-fledged ally of the LDF but when Kumar along with his supporters crossed over to the Congress-led UDF, the present JD-S faction remained with the LDF and continues to be with them.

Now all eyes are on Kumar on how he goes forward as there has been speculation that he and his faction are set to merge with the JD-S. However, JD-S' Thomas is reportedly not keen on this new arrangement.

According to sources close to the veteran media baron, while he and a majority of his party are keen to end their alliance with the UDF and move to the LDF, some of them are not keen.

At present JD-S does not have any legislator in the Kerala Assembly.

Asked about this, Kumar said all issues would be discussed in his party meeting which will be held shortly.