Sitaram Yechury election as new chief of the CPM has received mixed response from political circles with parties congratulating him for his new role and the BJP expressing doubts about the relevance of Left politics in India.
The 62-year-old leader took over from Prakash Karat as the new general secretary at the party’s congress in Vizag on Sunday, promising to work for unity of Left and ‘democratic’ forces and fight against ‘communal’ agenda of Hindutva forces.
“It is an internal matter of the CPM whom they elect as their leader. We extend our greetings to Yechury for his new role. But, the Left ideology has gradually lost relevance in Indian politics. The Left has alienated itself from the common people and their aspirations,” BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said. BJP and the Left competes with each other to capture the opposition’s space in next year’s poll in West Bengal.
The Congress called Yechury’s appointment as an internal matter of the CPM but hoped that he would bring about changes in the party’s policies vis-à-vis secular forces. “We do hope that Yechury will try to change Karat’s policies which were impractical and not in favour of secular forces. Unlike Karat, Yechury’s also seems to be more in league with national politics,” Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said.
Yechury’s elevation as chief of the CPM is also expected to see a greater bonhomie between the CPM and Congress, political observers feel.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao telephoned Yechury to congratulate him. DMK president M Karunanidhi greeted Yechury and said the leader’s journey to the top was due to “hard work and talent”. PMK founder S Ramadoss greeted Yechury and said his elevation came at a ‘critical’ juncture and expressed confidence that his leadership will help in strengthening the party.