On December 20, during the winter session of Parliament, Janata Dal (United) Kerala state unit chief MP Veerendra Kumar quit his Rajya Sabha seat to protest his party chief, Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar's decision to align with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front has a comfortable majority in the Kerala Assembly, and speculation is rife on who might be picked to fill the vacancy.
Recently, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, good humouredly, suggested to some in the CPI (M) if they would be willing to support a common candidate. Intrigued, the CPI (M) members wondered who would that common candidate be. Azad left them speechless by suggesting the name of CPI (M) chief Sitaram Yechury. It is little secret how a section within the CPI (M) had nixed a Congress proposal to send Yechury to the Rajya Sabha for a third term from West Bengal. But sources in both, the Congress and CPI (M), said Azad's suggestion was more tongue-in-cheek than with any serious intent.