Kerala JD (S) merges with Mulayam's SP

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New Delhi, May 27 (UNI) The Kerala unit of the Janata Dal-Secular today merged with the Samajwadi Party led by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Anouncing the decision, SP general secretary Amar Singh said the five MLAs of the JD (S) would join the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala. ''We have informed CPM leader Prakash Karat about the decision,'' he added.

The JD (S) had already taken the decision to merge with the SP at the party's state council meeting last week.

The JD (S) has five MLAs and one MP from Kerala.

There was suggestion from the national leadership of the party to the state units to either merge with the Samajwadi Party or the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.

The JD-S was split when a faction led by Veerendrakumar decided to disassociate with the leadership of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, following the latter's decision to form government in Karnataka with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2006.

''With this, SP has emerged as a major challenger to communal parties (BJP) which have established a foothold in South,'' Mr Singh said referring to the BJP's victory in Karnataka assembly elections.

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