The majority of the CPI(M) state bosses, including the controversial and powerful Kerala unit chief Pinarayi Vijayan, are likely to lose their jobs if the party finally accepts the proposal for a maximum of three terms for secretaries.
The proposal, a part of the ambitious reforms programme in the country’s biggest mainstream Left party, is understood to have been accepted in principle by the CPI(M) Central Committee (CC).
The CPI(M) has a presence in 26 states, and at least 13 state secretaries would not be eligible to hold the posts, if the party implements the proposal.
Though it was not mentioned in the party’s official release, issued after the CC meeting on Sunday, CPI(M) General Secretary, Prakash Karat, admitted the proposal was discussed. “It is not a part of the rectification programme, it is an organisational matter,” Karat told reporters.
Senior leader Sitaram Yechury said “the proposal was being discussed.” A final decision would be taken by the party Congress in 2011, the supreme decision making forum, which is held once in three years, he said.
It is not yet clear whether the proposal would apply to the party general secretary or not. When asked, Karat hinted on Sunday that it might not be applicable to him.
“I wish it was,” said the CPI(M) boss, who was elected for the first time in 2005 and was re-elected three years later.
The move, though a part of the thinking in the party leadership that reforms are urgently needed to lift the morale of cadres across the country, may also provide it a window of opportunity to get rid of leaders like Vijayan, facing corruption charges.
So far, the central leadership has found it difficult to act against the controversial Kerala boss, given his iron grip on the organisation.
Even in weak states such as Haryana, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, state party bosses have occupied the posts for 15 years.
The CPI(M) will become the second major political party after the BJP if it decides to go in for limited tenures for leaders.