Left leader’s presence for book release in Kerala sets tongues wagging

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 1 (IANS) The presence of CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan at a book-release here on Friday set tongues wagging over possible new political alignments in Kerala.

Vijayan, who was present at the function to release a book authored by Janata Dal-Secular supremo M.P. Veerendra Kumar, set the ball rolling by saying that though both were aligned with different political set-ups, they had no personal animosity.

“He (Kumar) left us a few years back to join the United Democratic Front, but nothing prevents him from returning. Even when we are with different political alliances, there is no animosity, though we have difference of opinion on political issues,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader said.

Kumar’s party split and walked out of the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front in 2009 after he was denied ticket from Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat by Vijayan.

Three of the five Janata Dal-Secular legislators joined the Congress-led UDF, which was then in opposition.

Kumar, who heads the Mathrubhumi media group, is now said to be feeling uncomfortable in the UDF. Vijayan is allegedly trying to woo Kumar back into the LDF fold.

“We both were together in jail for 17 months during the Emergency. Anyone who thought we were enemies got it wrong as I have high regards for him (Vijayan),” Kumar said.

Of the two legislators in the JD-S kitty, one is Kumar’s son while the other K.P. Mohanan is the agricultural minister in the Oommen Chandy government. Sources close to Kumar said Mohanan is likely to resign later in January.

The CPI-M’s publishing arm – Chintha Publications – has presented Kumar’s new book.

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