CPI(M) huddle may decide on Sitaram Yechury’s fate
The 22nd Party Congress will begin in Hyderabad on Wednesday amid the raging debate over political alliance with the Congress — an issue that has virtually divided the comrades.Updated: Apr 17, 2018 23:26 IST
The stage is set for one of the most dramatic and politically sensitive meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) — CPI(M) — where its general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s policy as well as the post may come under fire from his detractors in the party.
The 22nd Party Congress will begin in Hyderabad on Wednesday amid the raging debate over political alliance with the Congress — an issue that has virtually divided the comrades. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and some other states are opposed to the idea while West Bengal and a section of the Tripura have been backing a pact.
While debate over party lines is very common in the largest Communist party, the attack against Yechury may reach an alarming level. A section of the party thinks Yechury may be replaced and pointed out the ele- ctoral defeat in Tripura, digression of the West Bengal unit during the 2016 assembly election from the stated party line and dwindling strength of the party under his regime as reasons.
The West Bengal unit, which played a key role in elevating Yechury as the general secretary, stands solidly behind him and some Bengal leaders have threatened to revolt if he is replaced before his second term gets over.
“He is still the most acceptable Left face in the country and one of the most important Opposition leaders. Yechury’s presence can attract youngsters,” a leader, who didn’t want to be named, said.
The draft political resolution, which would come under intense debate in the Party Congress, clearly identifies “the BJP, which is in power today and given its basic link to the RSS, is the main threat.” The political line has its roots during the era of Harkishan Singh Surjeet when the CPI(M), for the first time, shifted from the theory of maintaining equal distance from both the Congress and the BJP to identify the saffron outfit as the primary threat.
The draft resolution, however, states that the Congress represents the interests of the bourgeoisie and landlords and “the- refore, we cannot have a tactical line which treats them as allies or partners in a united front.”
While Yechury faction has lost the battle to push the line of alliance in the last central committee meeting in Kolkata (by 55-31 vote) a leader in his camp cautioned that “the war is not over”.
“We will again push the line for adjustment with the Congress in the CPI(M) Party Congress. They need to understand the need for greater Opposition unity to take on the formidable BJP,” said a leader.
NCP leader DP Tripathy, who was an active SFI worker earlier, said, “The CPI(M) needs to do an honest self-criticism. When there are talks about broadest united front against the BJP, the Left can’t sit back and say they will not come with the Congress.”
First Published: Apr 17, 2018 23:26 IST