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 named Pinarayi Vijayan, a member of its politburo, as the new chief minister of Kerala.
Addressing a press conference, party leader Sitaram Yechury said that considering VS Achuthanandan’s age, Vijayan has been chosen for the CM’s post.
Former chief minister VS Achuthanandan is 92-year-old, while Vijayan is 72 years old.
Yechury further called Achuthanandan a war horse, who played a crucial role in the campaigning in the run-up to the Kerala Assembly Election 2016.
He further likened the veteran leader with Cuba’s Fidel Castro.
CPI(M) veteran VS Achutanandan is ‘Fidel Castro’ of Kerala, he will continue to guide and inspire the party, said Yechury.
Earlier today, news agency IANS had quoted party sources as saying that the decision to name Vijayan was taken at a meeting of the State Secretariat here in the presence of Yechury as well as Prakash Karat who flew in from New Delhi.
The selection of Vijayan was then conveyed to his long-time foe within the party, former chief minister VS Achuthanandan, 92.
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.
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.
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.
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