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JD(S) hit hard in Kerala as two-thirds of top council sides with chief ousted by Deve Gowda

JD(S) is a constituent of Kerala's ruling LDF coalition. Party and rebels both claim to be working to arrive at an amicable resolution.

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Bengaluru: The Kerala unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) is facing a rebellion after party supremo and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda replaced the local head two months ago.

The JD(S) is a constituent of Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) coalition.

As many as 63 of 91 members of the Kerala JD(S) council, the party’s top decision-making body in the state, have expressed their allegiance to the ousted chief C.K. Nanu, 84, after he announced that he will be severing ties with the party. 

Nanu, one of the JD(S)’s two MLAs in Kerala had been removed from his post in October, with Deve Gowda saying in a statement that he had made no attempts to strengthen the party in the state, and made every effort to destabilise it. Nanu was replaced with Mathew T. Thomas. 

The rebel leaders held a meeting Saturday. Last week, a JD(S) leader said, the rebels approached the LDF leadership to stop Gowda’s chosen representatives Mathew T. Thomas and K. Krishnankutty from attending further coalition meetings.

In light of the rebellion, the party launched disciplinary action against Nanu and his supporters Saturday. Mathew Thomas dismissed the meeting as an “unauthorised assembly”, saying the leaders “had no association with the JD(S) state unit”. 

However, both sides claim to be working to resolve the situation amicably. 

Also Read: Why Karnataka bypoll duck could spell ‘beginning of the end’ for Deve Gowda’s JD(S)

‘Working on resolution’

Speaking to ThePrint, one of the rebel JD(S) members, George Thomas, said the party is being led by a “dictator”. “There is no place to voice one’s views democratically,” he claimed. 

Nanu said the two sides are trying to resolve the matter, but added that the party leadership should reconsider the action taken against “certain leaders”. “Efforts are being made to try and resolve the issue amicably. However, we demand that the JD(S) national leadership’s decision to take disciplinary action against certain leaders should be reconsidered,” he said. 

A senior leader of the Bengaluru-based JD(S), who has flown to Thiruvananthapuram in the wake of the rebellion, confirmed the churn, but added that every effort is being made to arrive at an amicable resolution. 

Gowda’s action against Nanu came after his reported failure to take steps ordered by the JD(S)’s national working president B.M. Farooq.

According to Deve Gowda’s statement, Farooq had served Nanu a notice with a slew of directions on 24 September. However, Nanu neither adhered to it nor gave any reply, Gowda said.

Also Read: Deve Gowda’s desperate family-first politics make even Pawar, KCR, Naidu clans look better


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