Sitaram Yechury, Gets Re-Elected As General Secretary, And After A Historic Battle For ‘Inner-Party Democracy’ In CPI(M), Wrests Control Of His Party For The Second Time.
His re-election is a big blow to ex-general secretary Prakash Karat and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who did their best to ensure his ouster.
Sitaram Yechury was re-elected as General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the second consecutive time in Hyderabad, at the end of the 22nd CPI(M) party Congress.
The re-election came after a long, intense and often bitter discussions, which brought out all personal and ideological fault lines in India’s largest Communist party. It also demonstrated best traditions of inner-party democracy, often rare in other Indian parties.
Speaking to the media after his re-election, Yechury said: “We had a momentous Congress, detailed discussions and important decisions have been taken in this Congress. The message for each of our Comrades and our class enemy is CPI(M) has emerged as a united party.”
The debate in the party was split between the Prakash Karat/Pinarayi Vijayan line that wanted to put any ‘understanding’ with the Congress as outside the pale of possibility. However, the party Congress, the highest decision-making body in the party, in a significant move, overturned that hardline and went for Yechury’s more constructive line, not foreclosing any option. After emerging from his re-election, he made no bones to assert: “The main task today is to defeat this BJP govt and for that, all necessary measures will be undertaken by the Party all across the country.”
He thanked, “all our Comrades, supporters and sympathisers for their spirited support to the CPI(M). Lal Salam,” in a tweet shortly after his election.
The close of the 22nd Party Congress would be a large public rally in Hyderabad, now the capital of Telangana.
In the 95-member newly elected Central Committee, sources said, Yechury would have an easier time unlike the previous central committee elected at the Vizag party congress, which in Kolkata, defeated Yechury’s bid to get the CPI(M) to display more flexibility in the current context and get back its mojo. There are ten new members who, sources say, would be more amenable to moves that Yechury may wish the party to make as it faces its gravest moment in its 54-year-old history.
The new politburo has two new members Nilotpal Basu, a two-term Rajya Sabha member and Tapan Sen, from the Trade Union movement. This too is set to make life easier for the general secretary in his second term.
After the long-drawn and often fractious inner-party problems at play in Hyderabad, now, Yechury needs to turn his attention to boring and serious challenges outside that would be critical, at least in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.