Pirayi Vijayan to be Kerala's next CM
Thiruvanthapuram, May 20: The CPI-M on Friday decided to me veteran leader Pirayi Vijayan, son of a toddy tapper, Kerala’s new chief minister, sidelining former chief minister V.S. Achuthandan. Party sources said Achuthandan, 92, was apparently not happy with the decision because he had felt he might get a second chance, at least for a while, before handing over charge to Vijayan, 72. The two leaders are known to be long-time rivals within the otherwise regimented Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which led the LDF to a victory in elections to the 140-member assembly. The CPI-M opted for Vijayan at a meeting of the party’s state secretariat chaired by general secretary Sitaram Yechury and attended by his predecessor Prakash Karat, who is known to be close to Vijayan. A formal announcement is expected to be made later on Friday. Vijayan will be the 22nd chief minister of Kerala.
Vijayan, who hails from Pirayi village in Kannur district, got associated with the CPI-M during his student days. His mentor in the CPI-M was the legendary A.K. Gopalan. At age 24, he was inducted into the Kannur district committee of the CPI-M. From there, he had a steady growth in the party. Now a five-time legislator, Vijayan made his electoral debut in 1970. He became the Electricity Minister in 1996 in the cabinet of E.K. yar. (IANS)