CPI-M 22nd Party Congress: Sitaram Yechury gets fresh term as General Secretary, a little more elbow room

While 80-plus S Ramachandran Pillai was given special exemption and retained in the PB, A K Padmanabhan was dropped.

Published: 23rd April 2018 05:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2018 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury (left) interacts with former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar during the party congress in Hyderabad on Sunday | PTI

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Sitaram Yechury was on Sunday re-elected as the CPI(M) general secretary for three years but it won’t be cakewalk for him as the newly elected 95-member Central Committee (CC) that endorsed his name is dominated by predecessor Prakash Karat’s group, which includes the powerful Kerala unit.

After his line was adopted in party’s political resolution, Yechury getting a second term as general secretary was more or less decided. But there were other names doing the rounds like former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and Politburo members Brinda Karat and B V Raghavulu.

Also, there was speculation of a vote to elect the CC members, but the leadership managed to avoid it. In the end, both Yechury and Karat camps managed to get equal representation in the newly inducted CC members. Also,  four of the new CC delegates spoke against Yechury’s re-election and three of them abstained from voting.

The party also elected a 17-member Politburo (PB). While 80-plus S Ramachandran Pillai was given special exemption and retained in the PB, A K Padmanabhan was dropped. The PB has two new faces - Tapan Sen and Nilotpal Basu.

According to a senior party leader, Yechury now has more elbow space this time with some of his loyalists making it to the CC and the PB, the top decision making bodies of the party.
Addressing the cadre after the re-election, Yechury said: “If there is any single message that will go from this 22nd congress of the CPI (M), it is that the party has emerged united and is determined put forward an alternative policy framework against the BJP.”

Manik Sarkar’s name tossed up for gen secy
Besides Yechury, former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and Politburo members Brinda Karat and B V Raghavulu were in the race for general secretary. Sarkar’s name did come up during CC’s meeting to take a call

Yechury said it would not send the right signal
“Yechury said that he was fine with it (Sarkar as the new general secretary) but it will give a wrong political signal. To this Sarkar agreed that it was not a good idea,” said a party delegate. The idea was dropped

Central committee now a tad younger

The Central Committee (CC) has 19 new faces. Plus, one seat left vacant to accommodate a woman leader. The new members include two from Kerala, four from West Bengal and two from Tripura. As many as 16 veterans axed

CC’s current strength 95, up from 91; Politburo now has 17, one up from the previous 16
The CC shake-up has made it younger by 2-3 years. Its average age in Yechury’s first term was 72
Kerala party patriarch V S Achuthanandan will continue as a special invitee to the CC. Other special invitees are Mallu Swarajyam, Madam Ghosh, P Ramaiah, K Varadarajan and Paloli Mohammed Kitty
From Kerala, P K Gurudasan dropped; two new faces - Kannur leader M V Govindan and Thrissur district secretary K Radhakrishnan - inducted into the CC

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