Pinarayi Vijayan to be next Kerala CM; VS Achuthanandan leaves meeting midway

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will on Friday announce politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan as Kerala's 22nd chief minister.

Pinarayi Vijayan to be next Kerala CM; VS Achuthanandan leaves meeting midway

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Left Democratic Front (LDF) won 91 of the 140 seats in the Kerala Assembly, the Communist Party of India-Marxist on Friday decided to name Pinarayi Vijayan, a member of it politburo, the new chief minister of Kerala.

News agency IANS quoted party sources as saying that the decision was taken at a meeting of the State Secretariat here in the presence of party leaders Sitaram Yechury as well as Prakash Karat who flew in from New Delhi.

The selection of Vijayan, 72, was conveyed to his long-time foe within the party, former chief minister VS Achuthanandan, 92.

An official announcement is expected to be made later in the day.

However, the news did not go down well with Achuthanandan, who left the meeting at the party headquarters midway, said reports.

One source said Achuthanandan did not seem happy as he had expected at least a short stint as chief minister before making way for Vijayan. 

Notably, the 72-year-old Vijayan has a brute majority in the state committee.

However, the 92-year-old Achuthanandan was the star campaigner for the party and largely instrumental for its massive win of 91 seats in the 140-member Assembly on Thursday. The party now has to find a suitable slot for him.

Much of Achuthanandan's first tenure as chief minister (2006-11) witnessed an embarrassing face-off between the two leaders.

At one point, to cool down tempers, the party's national leadership booted both of them out of the politburo. While Vijayan was reinstated, Achuthanandan only has the status of an invitee to the central committee.

(With IANS inputs)

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