New Delhi: Almost all chief ministers of Kerala in its 54-year history have had one thing in common - the letter 'N' in their names. And Congress leader Oommen Chandy, who is most likely to take over the reins now, will be no exception. While Chandy has two 'N's' in his name, the same is the case with outgoing Chief Minister and Communist veteran VS Achuthanandan.

Among the 20 chief ministerial terms in the state so far, only one - CH Mohammed Koya, who held the post for just 49 days in 1979 - did not have the 'N' letter. Some political pundits attribute his short term to the lack of the 'N' factor!

Only 11 leaders have been in the post, with five of them holding it for more than one term. Chandy too will be chief minister for a second time.

Congress leader K Karunakaran, who became chief minister for four terms, had two 'N's'. The same was the case with veteran Communist leader EK Nayanar who held the post for three terms.

Defence Minister AK Antony, with a double 'N', was also chief minister of Kerala for three terms.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) veteran and two-time chief minister EMS Namboodiripad's surname began with 'N'. Two chief ministers from the Communist Party of India (CPI) - C Achutha Menon and PK Vasudevan  Nair - also had the 'N' factor.

Kerala's only Socialist Party chief minister, Pattom Thanu Pillai, and his Congress successor R. Shankar had the letter.

Political analyst K. Sreekumar said that the 'N' factor has turned into superstition.

Pundits point out that besides Chandy, two other top Congress leaders who have chances of becoming chief minister at a later stage - state party chief Ramesh Chennithala and former president K Muraleedharan - have 'N' in their names.

'Even Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the outgoing home minister who was initially projected by CPI-M as a probable chief minister has two 'N's in the name,' Sreekumar pointed out

Agencies