ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Making and Unmaking of Kerala’s Strongman

Pinarayi Vijayan took charge as the chief minister of Kerala with a “strongman image” after leading the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the state with a firm hand for a record 17 years. As his government celebrates its first anniversary, this article examines the criticism his government is facing.

Pinarayi Vijayan became the chief minister of Kerala on 25 May 2016 amid high hopes not only among his partymen, but also in the public at large. As his government prepares to celebrate its first anniversary, it is experiencing a backlash.

The last time a government aroused such high hopes in Kerala was 60 years ago, when E M S Namboodiripad took office as the state’s first chief minister. The expectations the EMS government aroused were based on political considerations. It was India’s first non-Congress government, and the world’s first elected communist government to boot. The expectations aroused by the Pinarayi government were based primarily on personal considerations. He was coming to office with a strongman image built by leading Communist Party of India (Marxist)—CPI(M)—in the state with a firm hand for a record 17 years.

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Updated On : 6th Jun, 2017

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