Thiruvananthapuram: VS Achuthanandan has left the building. A formal announcement on who will be Kerala’s new Chief Minister will be made only on Friday afternoon, but the Marxist veteran’s departure from the CPM’s office in Thiruvananthapuram told the story.
Pinarayi Vijayan, his party has decided, will be the new chief minister at the head of a Left Democratic Alliance or LDA government in Kerala.
Top CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat, who reached the Kerala capital this morning, held a meeting at the party headquarters and will announce the new chief minister in the afternoon.
Pinyari Vijayan is seen to have scored over star campaigner and ex chief minister Mr Achuthananadan primarily because he is 20 years younger at 72. Mr Vijayan also has a big majority in the party’s state committee.
A grassroots leader, he is seen as a man in sync with party dynamics unlike Mr Achuthanandan who is a mass leader and a brand name in Kerala, but has also been seen as disruptive. He has been accused of frequently breaching party discipline.
Much of Mr Achuthanandan’s first tenure as chief minister – in 2006-11 – saw a face-off between the two leaders that was embarrassing for the party.
At one point, to cool down tempers, the party’s national leadership had thrown both of them out of the politburo. While Mr Vijayan was reinstated, Mr Achuthanandan only had the status of an invitee to the central committee.