The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (abbreviated as CPI(M) or CPM) is a communist political party in India that formed as the result of a split in the Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1964.[1] It has the status of a "national party" in India and has headed state governments in three of the states in the country.

A chief minister is the head of government of each of the twenty-eight states and three union territories (Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry). In accordance with the Constitution of India, the governor is a state's de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister. Following elections to the state legislative assembly, the state's governor usually invites the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints the chief minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. Given the confidence of the assembly, the chief minister's term is for five years and is subject to no term limits.[2]

As of March 2020, nine people from the CPI(M) have held the position of a chief minister — four in Kerala, three in Tripura, and two in West Bengal, out of which only one — Pinarayi Vijayan is incumbent.


Main articles: List of chief ministers of Kerala and Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kerala

Name Portrait Term(s) Tenure(s)[a]
E. M. S. Namboodiripad A portrait of E.M.S. Namboodiripad 2[b] 6 March 1967-1 November 1969 (2 years, 240 days)
E. K. Nayanar A photograph of E.K. Nayanar 3 25 January 198020 October 1981
(1 year, 268 days )
26 March 198717 June 1991
(4 years, 83 days)
20 May 199613 May 2001
(4 years, 358 days)
V. S. Achuthanandan A photograph of V.S. Achutanandan 1 18 May 200614 May 2011 (4 years, 361 days)
Pinarayi Vijayan* 2 25 May 2016Incumbent

(7 years, 269 days)


Main articles: List of chief ministers of Tripura and Communist Party of India (Marxist), Tripura

Name Portrait Term(s) Tenure(s)
Nripen Chakraborty 2 5 January 19785 February 1988 (10 years, 31 days)
Dasarath Deb 1 10 April 199311 March 1998 (4 years, 335 days)
Manik Sarkar A photograph of Manik Sarkar 4 11 March 19989 March 2018 (19 years, 363 days)

West Bengal

Main articles: List of chief ministers of West Bengal and Left Front (West Bengal)

Name Portrait Term(s) Tenure(s)
Jyoti Basu A portrait of Jyoti Basu 5 21 June 19775 November 2000 (23 years, 137 days)
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee A portrait of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya 3 6 November 200013 May 2011 (10 years, 188 days)

See also


  1. ^ Sources:
    • Kerala: Official website of Kerala Legislature[3]
    • West Bengal: Official website of West Bengal Legislative Assembly[4]
    • Tripura: Legislative Bodies in India (an Indian government website) page on Tripura Legislative Assembly[5] and a news article for the date of end of Manik Sarkar's term.[6]
  2. ^ Namboodiripad has served two terms as a chief minister; the first in 1957 as a CPI leader and second in 1967 as a CPI(M) leader.[7]


  1. ^ Daniyal, Shoaib (26 April 2015). "As CPI and CPI-M mull merger, a short history of how they split up in the first place". Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  2. ^ Basu, Durga Das (2011) [1st pub. 1960]. Introduction to the Constitution of India (20th ed.). LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur. pp. 241–245. ISBN 978-81-8038-559-9. Note: although the text talks about Indian state governments in general, it applies for the specific case of Chhattisgarh as well.
  3. ^ "Chief Ministers". Kerala Legislature. Archived from the original on 8 August 2019. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Premiers and Chief Ministers of West Bengal". West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2018. Note: The website link may not work as it has few glitches; only the archive link works. Also, the source has few errors regarding the tenure of Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee; the correct dates are provided in the "Origin and Growth" section of the given website.
  5. ^ "Tripura Legislative Assembly". Legislative Bodies in India. Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Biplab Kumar Deb takes oath as Tripura CM". Business Line. 9 March 2018. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  7. ^ Krishnakumar, R. (4 April 1998). "Farewell to EMS". Frontline. Thiruvananthapuram. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.