If poll prospects for assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala are CPI(M)’s immediate concerns, the dwindling fate of the party’s position in the Rajya Sabha seems to be the next worry.
The headache is even more acute as the fate of three party politburo members, Brinda Karat, Sitaram Yechury and Md Amin, who are also the party’s Rajya Sabha members from West Bengal, would be in question. The term of these CPI(M) Rajya Sabha members will come to an end in August 2011, which means if they want re-election to the Upper House of Parliament from West Bengal, they would have to face the elections only after the verdict of the assembly polls is delivered.
Going by the trend of the polls in last two years and according to the exit poll projections, the Left, especially the CPI(M), is heading for a major disaster in the West Bengal assembly elections and hence the concern is whether there would be enough Left MLAs after the elections to ensure the re-election of all the three politburo members.
The concern for another Left Front ally, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), is even more acute, since after the state assembly elections, it might not have a single representative in the Rajya Sabha.
The term for the lone sitting RSP member in the Upper House of Parliament, Abani Roy, too, is coming to an end in August 2011, along with Yechury, Karat and Amin.
A similar jolt in Rajya Sabha for CPI(M) would be evident in 2012, since the terms of three party members in the Upper House of Parliament — Mainul Hassan, Tapan Kumar Sen and Saman Pathak — will come to an end in April 2012. Currently with 15 members, CPI(M) holds the fourth position in the Rajya Sabha in terms of strength after Congress, BJP and BSP.
Now, the question that is already rising among a section of the party that in case of adverse situation in terms of assembly strength in West Bengal, who among Yechury, Karat and Md Amin will have to be sacrificed.
High-placed party sources hinted that in a situation where CPI(M) has strength enough to get two politburo members, re-elected, Yechury seems to be in the safest position with two plus points namely his repute as an eloquent parliamentary speaker and his popularity among the majority of state CPI(M) leaders in West Bengal.
As regards the other two, although Amin has advantage of having the backing of the majority of the state CPI(M) leaders, the two factors that are in favour of Karat is that besides being a good speaker, she is also the wife of general secretary Prakash Karat.