Facing the challenge of factionalism and rebellion, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Sunday dissolved its Kerala unit and appointed a new executive committee in its place.
"In the larger interest of the party's state unity and discipline, the PAC (political affairs committee) unanimously resolved to dissolve the Kerala unit of the party headed by MP Veerendrakumar for actions violative of party discipline and constitution," said Kunwar Danish Ali, national general secretary of the party.
"The PAC is constrained to take this painful yet necessary step of dissolving the state unit with immediate effect," Ali told reporters in New Delhi.
He was reading out the resolution passed by the political affairs committee that met here under the chairmanship of JD-S national president and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
The JD-S in Kerala had been a divided house with a major section of the party, led by Veerendrakumar, openly working against the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which leads the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), during the Lok Sabha polls. JD-S is in alliance with LDF in Kerala.
Veerendrakumar, who represented Kozhikode in the previous Lok Sabha, was upset over the CPI-M's decision to field its own candidate in the constituency in the April-May polls.
He was in favour of going with the state's opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), but Deve Gowda rejected the move.
Asked about Veerendrakumar's fate, Deve Gowda said: "As the state unit of the party has been dissolved, he is no more the president of the party (unit)."
Signalling that Veerendrakumar could be expelled in future, Ali said: "If they fall in line, well and good."
Deve Gowda described the state unit chief as a "frustrated man" and said "he has lost his mental balance".
The party's national executive had already suspended its general secretary Varghese George, a supporter of Veerendrakumar, and Kerala unit secretary general K Krishnankutty, who had criticised Deve Gowda.
NM Joseph will head the new executive committee of the party in the state. Most of the members in the new executive committee were part of the party's dissolved unit.