NEW DELHI: Going by party norms, the CPM central committee has decided against a third Rajya Sabha term for party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, whose term ends in August.
There was division in the central committee with the Kerala unit opposing another term, while West Bengal supported it. According to party norms, no member can have more than two terms.
“The decision to not endorse a third term for Yechury was finalised after voting in the central committee,” said party sources.
Yechury himself had said that he is not interested in getting a third term. CPM currently has eight members in the Upper House and two of its other members from West Bengal — Tapan Kumar Sen and Ritabrata Banerjee — are due to retire in 2020. After that the party will not have any member in the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.
The Congress was ready for Yechury’s candidature from West Bengal, where the election will be held in six seats in August. The ruling Trinamool Congress is set to win five seats and one will go to the Congress. The Congress had made it clear that it won’t field any candidate if Yechury contests but the central committee opposed taking the Congress support to send the party general secretary to the RS.
The opposition parties have been pushing for Yechury’s re-election to Rajya Sabha because he is a prominent opposition face and a powerful speaker, to take on the BJP in the RS, where the ruling government is in minority.