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Thumbs up for VS

The battle's won but the big question remains. Who will the Left Democratic Front choose to lead the government?

india Updated: May 12, 2006 02:45 IST

The battle's won but the big question remains. Who will the Left Democratic Front choose to lead the government?

The frontrunner obviously is VS Achuthanandan. But reformists within the party, led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, will be loath to let the hardliner hold sway. The politburo is likely to back VS. But the rival camp is not going to lose out. If the party entrusts the mantle to VS, the wounded Vijayan is likely to fill the cabinet with his men. Vijayan has the numbers on his side. A majority of the 61 party MLAs is with Vijayan. Expect a tussle.

But what went wrong for Oomen Chandy? Though the CM managed to save his skin, seven of his ministers and heavyweights of the ruling front fell by the wayside.

A close look reveals factors beyond anti-incumbency — a big swing in Muslim votes towards the Left (44 per cent) and the alliance with K. Karuanakaran backfiring.

The Muslim League managed only seven of 24 seats it contested in the face of a red sweep while the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) party could win one seat only.