New Delhi: The central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, which is the party’s highest decision-making body, rejected a proposal of the West Bengal state committee of the party to give a third Rajya Sabha term to general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday on the decisions taken by the committee, Yechury said, “Discussed the proposal of the West Bengal committee. Earlier the politburo rejected the proposal saying that election should not be fought with support of the Congress."
The central committee of the party which voted on the proposal has given three reasons for the rejection which include taking Congress support. The CPM, which has 26 seats in the West Bengal assembly, would need the support of the Congress to nominate Yechury.
“I had said in April that I would not be going against party law as general secretary. The central committee has rejected the proposal for three reasons. As general secretary, I will have to spend more time within the party. The nomination should not be with the support of Congress and it goes against the norms of the party," Yechury added.
Last month, the politburo rejected the West Bengal state committee’s proposal on the same grounds. The West Bengal committee then asked the central committee to reconsider the proposal.
The CPM has a rule which bars a leader from seeking a third Rajya Sabha term. The view is that younger leaders need to be given an opportunity to represent the party.
There are six Rajya Sabha seats from West Bengal which are going to the polls. The last date for filing nominations is 28 July and elections are due to be held on 8 August.
The party also ruled out an alliance with the Congress. Interestingly, the two parties contested the West Bengal assembly elections together.
“CPM will not go in an alliance with the Congress. We will build our strength independently. We are saying there should be an independent candidate not belonging to any political party," Yechury said.
CPM currently has only 8 members in the upper house, including Yechury. There are two other members from West Bengal who retire in 2018 and 2020.