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It's time for crossing over in Kerala politics

Its time for crossing over in Kerala politics

Thiruvananthapuram: With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner, Kerala has begun witnessing the phenomenon of shifting of loyalties from one political party to another in the past few days.

The Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) party, founded by veteran communist leader K.R. Gowri in 1994 after she was ousted from the CPI-M, saw a split in the party ranks with her detractors choosing to stay in the United Democratic Front (UDF) Sunday and not join the CPI-M.

Eyebrows have already been raised after the CPI-M state leadership gave the green signal for the NaMo Vichar Manch (NVM), a group of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebels led by its former district president O.K. Vasu in Kannur, to join the party.

The green signal came Saturday at the CPI-M state secretariat meeting, overruling former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan's strong opposition to it.

Achuthanandan had said that Vasu's outfit comes with the baggage of allegiance to BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Since its formation, the JSS has been an ally of the Congress-led UDF and Gowri was a minister in the respective cabinets of A.K. Antony and Oommen Chandy during 2001-06.

After her successive losses in the 2006 and 2011 assembly polls, the now 94-year-old Gowri has been highly critical of the UDF and has been making open moves to return to the CPI-M.

"She has been trying to merge our party with that of the CPI-M and we just cannot be a party to that. There is no rationale in what she has been saying and hence, we have decided to remain as JSS and will be in the UDF," said president of JSS, Rajan Babu, who along with a huge number of party office bearers walked out of the state party meeting being held at Alappuzha district Sunday.

State Congress president and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said Gowri is free to take any decision to leave the UDF and none will prevent her if she decides to go.

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