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JSS leader K R Gouriamma leaves UDF

JSS leader K R Gouriamma leaves UDF

Alappuzha: A minor partner in Kerala's ruling Congress-led UDF, Janathipathy Samrakshana Samithi leader K.R. Gouriamma and her followers on Sunday decided to end its two-decade old alliance with the Front following differences.

JSS, headed by Gouriamma, passed a resolution to quit the Front at the party's sixth state conference here.

However, a faction led by party President A.N. Rajan Babu, former MLA, made it clear that they would remain in the UDF. The Rajan Babu faction held a separate meeting and decided to remain in the UDF.

Gouriamma, who floated JSS in 1994 after she was expelled from CPI-M, had been a partner in the UDF since then. She was also a minister in the UDF ministry in 2001.

Gouriamma's decision to leave the Front would not have any impact on the UDF Ministery headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, as the party has no MLA in the assembly. But, the decision could dent the prospect of UDF candidates in elections in Alappuzha where the party has some presence.

For the last few months, Gouriamma had been at loggerheads with UDF over a host of issues including the complaint that her party had not been properly accommodated in the UDF. Though several rounds of talks were held between Gouriamma and UDF leaders, they failed to bring the 94-year around.

However, the rival faction alleges that CPI-M leaders have been in touch with her and she was planning to move to LDF.

Prior to the formation of JSS, Gouriamma was a prominent figure in the communist movement in Kerala. She was a Minister in the first Communist-led Ministry headed by E M Sankaran Namboothiripad in Kerala in 1957 and also a minister in the LDF ministry in 1967, 1980, and 1987.

Reacting to the development, KPCC President and State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the Congress would not stand in the way of Gouriamma leaving the Front.

"We will not ask anybody to leave the Front, but we will not be a hurdle in the way of Gouriamma leaving the Front," he added.

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