Both Achuthanandan and Vijayan to contest elections

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, March 10 (IANS) The CPI-M on Thursday gave the nod to both former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan and his rival Pinarayi Vijayan to contest the coming assembly polls in Kerala.

CPI-M sources told IANS that its general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his predecessor Prakash Karat will formally convey the decision to the state party secretariat that meets in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.

Achuthanandan, 92, and Vijayan, 71, have been at loggerheads for more than a decade, causing a lot of unpleasant situations for the party.

Vijayan has not contested assembly polls since resigning as electricity minister in 1998 to take charge as secretary of the Kerala unit of the Communist Party of India-Marxist — a post he held till last year.

It was during this tenure that he got virtually the absolute control over the party.

Both in 2006 and 2011, the party decided not to field Achuthanandan but later did so following protests.

In 2006, he went on to become the chief minister. In 2011, he became the leader of the opposition.

However, the CPI-M is not clear who among the two should become the chief minister if the Left wins the May election.

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