HYDERABAD: In an unprecedented demand that even party general secretary Sitaram Yechury denied of having heard before in the party, some delegates demanded a secret ballot on the draft political resolution to be adopted at the 22nd party Congress as there has been a wider spilt among top leadership on the matter. The demand was first raised by Uday Narvelkar from Maharashtra and he said that the draft resolution be put to vote using secret ballot system.
When asked about the secret ballot, Yechury said that as per traditional system, voting takes place with show of hands but secret ballot can be considered if there is a demand from party delegates. “This is my 12th party Congress and there has never been a demand for secret ballot in my remembrance,” Yechury told reporters. The CPI (M) constitution is also silent on the secret ballot. According to party sources, Yechury will have an edge over Politburo member Prakash Karat if there is a secret ballot. Party sources further said that in case of secret ballot several delegates who openly cannot support Yechury’s line are expected to vote for him.
“He can also get some votes from states like Kerala which has Karat’s dominance,” they added. While the draft was placed by Karat on behalf of the Central Committee, Yechury placed the minority point of view of the Central Committee.
Delegates from various states will participate in discussion on the draft political resolution till Friday and there is all likelihood for a voting towards the late evening.
During the discussions, Kerala delegates vehemently opposed Yechury’s line of not totally closing the doors on the Congress on the context that it will finish the party in the state. Delegates from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal so far have supported Yechury’s view.
“The discussions have just begun and following the central committee decision, two opinions were placed before the party Congress. There have been lot of amendments and normal practice is that if anyone presses for his amendment than there is voting,” said Yechury.
He parried questions on what will be his next step as general secretary if his draft for having an understanding with the Congress was defeated. There have been speculations of party appointing a new general secretary.