After weeks of uncertainty, the CPI(M) today unanimously elected Sitaram Yechury its general secretary at its 22nd party congress here. His election to the post for the second time was approved by the Left party’s newly-elected 95-member central committee. The 65-year-old leader had taken over as general secretary of the CPI(M) from Prakash Karat in the 21st party congress, which was held in Visakhapatnam, in 2015. “We had a momentous congress, detailed discussions and important decisions, we have taken in this congress.
If any message that should go to rank and file and our class enemy is that CPI(M) has emerged as a united party,”Yechury said in his speech on the concluding session of the party congress. Several names were being discussed in party circles as Yechury’s successor in the run up to the mega meet, which began here on April 18. Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, politburo member Brinda Karat and secretary B V Raghavulu were among the possible contenders, party sources had said. Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Sarkar, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala CPI(M) leader S Ramachandran Pillai and West Bengal leader Biman Basu are among the members of the central committee. Yechury’s political line had faced a major challenge regarding whether or not the CPI(M) should involve the Congress to take on the BJP.
The party leadership yesterday chose a middle path by deciding to amend the official draft on the issue by omitting the crucial phrase “no understanding” with the Congress, which was a victory of sorts of the “minority view” held by Yechury. The official draft, backed by Prakash Karat, had said the party should unite all secular democratic forces “without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress party”. But in the amended document, it is now written that the party can unite secular democratic forces “without having a political alliance with the Congress party”, thus keeping the doors open for an electoral understanding.