CPM’s next worry is Rajya Sabha
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 headache. Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri reports.kolkata Updated: Apr 21, 2011 15:01 IST
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 headache. The headache is even more acute when 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 the Parliament from Bengal, they would have to face the elections only after the fate of the assembly polls in the state are sealed.
Going by the trend of the polls in last two years and as per exit poll projections the Left especially CPI(M) is heading for a major disaster in West Bengal assembly elections and hence the concern is whether there would be enough Left MLAs after the polls 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 the 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 terms of three party members in the Upper House of Parliament — namely 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 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 Parliamentary speaker, she is also the wife of the party general secretary Prakash Karat.
In case of a worse situation, where CPI(M) can ensure the re-election of only one, then Yechury is the only choice for state leadership.
Although, the terms of two Trinamool Congress heavyweight Rajya Sabha members namely Swapan Sadhan (Tutu) Bose and Mukul Roy are coming to an end in August 2011 and April 2012 respectively, the party is not worried since it is confidant of getting them re-elected with enough MLAs after the state assembly elections.