CPI(M) strongman Pinarayi Vijayan is all set to become the next chief minister of Kerala with the party unanimously choosing him over 92-year-old veteran VS Achutanandan who played a major role in bringing the party back to power in the election. In a bid to placate Achutanandan, the party compared him with Fidel Castro and said he will continue to guide and inspire the front. The decision to nominate Politburo member Vijayan, 72, as the leader of the LDF legislature party was taken at a meeting of the CPI(M) State Secretariat and Committee, here, a day after LDF trounced the Congress-led UDF bagging 91 seats in the 126-member Assembly. 

Announcing the decision, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, who attended the meetings, said "the party has decided to propose the name of Pinarayi Vijayan as LDF chief minister." The time and date of the swearing- in ceremony of the new government, which will be soon, will be decided after consulting other Front partners, he said. Friday's meeting was also attended by Politburo member Prakash Karat. CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will hold talks with front leaders and take a decision on this. 

Yechury said considering Achutanandan's age and physical limitations and recognising his role, "We have come to a unanimous decision to propose the name of Pinarayi Vijayan as leader of LDF legislature party". In a bid to scuttle reports that Achutanandan was reportedly unhappy after he was informed about the Secretariat decision to propose Vijayan's name for the chief minister's post, Yechury met the press flanked by the nonagenarian and Balakrishnan. 

Describing Achutanandan as a 'war horse' and likening him to Communist hero Castro, Yechury said the veteran leader will continue to guide and inspire and play that role. "Comrade VS is like Fidel Castro to Kerala. Like Fidel in Cuba today, advising, guiding, inspiring, Comrade VS will continue that role," he said. Vijayan, who won the assembly election from Dharmadom in Kannur district with a majority of 36,905 votes, will be the fourth chief minister of CPI(M). 


TBJP leader Sarbananda Sonowal will take oath as Assam's new chief minister Tuesday at a function to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. He will be administered the oath of office and secrecy along with his council of ministers, the BJP said. "On Sunday, we (all elected members of BJP) are going to elect Sonowal as the leader of BJP Legislature Party. On Monday, we are going to have a meeting with the elected members of our allies," said BJP leader and key strategist in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma. 


At least 428 MLAs or nearly half of all the winners in recently concluded assembly elections are crorepatis, a survey by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said. The survey included analysis of poll affidavits filed by as many as 812 elected MLAs, ADR said, while adding that the affidavits for some others could not be taken into account as they were 'badly scanned'. Puducherry has the maximum 83% of crorepati MLAs. However, only 34% of elected MLAs in West Bengal are crorepatis, while in Kerala it is 44%.

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