New Delhi, July 26, 2017: The central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), its highest decision-making body, on Tuesday decided against nominating party general secretary Sitaram Yechury that he will not get a third consecutive term in Rajya Sabha.
“The decision was taken keeping in mind the party norm that no CPI(M) leader can represent the party in the Upper House for more than two terms. Plus, the Kerala unit of the party was against taking help of Congress to get the party general secretary re-elected,” the CPM leader said.
The committee met in Delhi over three days and voted upon and defected, said sources.
However, the Bengal unit’s proposal came after the Congress leadership conveyed that it was willing to give up its claim for a Rajya Sabha seat from the state and back Yechury if the CPM fielded him.
A senior leader is learnt to have suggested that Congress take a leaf out of the President’s election and field Meira Kumar. Since Congress and Left joined hands over Kumar as recently as last week, the CPM was unlikely to have any reservations.
The proposal was made in the presence of AICC general secretary CP Joshi and Bengal leaders. The other names under consideration include Pradeep Bhattacharya whose term ends in August. AICC is likely to take a decision after the CPM central committee meeting.
Meanwhile, the CPM leadership is also learnt to have spoken to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan about his interview to a leading English daily in which he said Yechury cannot be sent to the Rajya Sabha with the help of the Congress, an old rival in the southern state.
“Vijayan was asked about the interview which appeared right before the central committee was to decide the fate of Yechury’s third term. The chief minister said he had given the interview sometime ago and not today. He also said it was wrong to speak on the issue,” the leader said.
The second term of Yechury, a Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal, ends next month. The election for six West Bengal Rajya Sabha seats, including the one represented by Yechury, will be held on 8 August. Nomination for the poll is to be filed before 28 July.