Yechury, Karat factions trade charges at CPI(M) party congress
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Yechury, Karat factions trade charges at CPI(M) party congress

As differences persist between camps allied to Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat on the political line to be adopted by the CPI(M), some leaders even demanded voting by secret ballot

india Updated: Apr 19, 2018 22:22 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
CPI(M),CPI(M) Party Congress,Sitaram Yechury
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury addresses media at the 22nd Party National Congress in Hyderabad.(PTI Photo)

Sparks flew at the second day of the 22nd party congress of the CPI(M) in Hyderabad on Thursday as two factions associated with Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat traded charges against each other.

A delegate from Punjab asked the Kerala lobby to “allow the elected general secretary Sitaram Yechury to work”. A few members from Kerala, a state backing Karat, questioned why Yechury went ahead and presented the minority views at the party congress the day before.

A few leaders from Assam and Maharashtra even demanded voting by secret ballot on the political line of the party. In the CPI(M), voting usually takes place with a show of hands. “A secret ballot would mean no one would know who votes for whom from which state,” said a politburo member.

Yechury added that as long as he had been in the party’s central committee, the party congress had not seen a secret ballot.

Many members, however, also pitched strongly for unity in the party and pointed out that the focus should be on fighting the BJP.

Efforts are also on for a patch-up between the two sides and to find a middle path in the party’s political-tactical line vis-à-vis the Congress. With many amendments given by both sides on the much-debated political-tactical resolution, a steering committee of the CPI(M) will meet on Friday to consider them, and make a proposal for an amicable resolution to the dispute, party leaders said.

Yechury insisted that his camp is not seeking permission for an electoral alliance with the Congress.

“There is no dispute over an electoral alliance with the Congress. There is no dispute in the priority that the BJP should be defeated. Each one of us knows that our priority is to get rid of the BJP-RSS government. The only difference is on how to achieve this target,” he said at a press conference.

Leaders close to Yechury maintained that he wants the phrase “political understanding” to be made a part of the resolution.

This, said a politburo member who did not wish to be named, would allow the CPI(M) more space for manoeuvring in the elections.

On Wednesday, Karat also tried to show flexibility and said that the political-tactical line and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections should not be mixed up.

For the time being, Yechury also played down the possibility of a rare vote on the political-tactical line.

“The amendments will be known tomorrow morning. If anyone presses for his or her amendments, there can be voting. Otherwise, the steering committee will consider all amendments and makes a proposal,” he said.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 22:13 IST