Hyderabad:Sitaram Yechury, re-elected on Sunday by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM as its general secretary a year to general elections due in May 2019, pledged to work to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and its ideological wellspring the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“We are declaring to India today that we won’t allow communal forces to tear asunder our country," Yechury said during his address after his re-election by the party’s 22nd All India Congress in Hyderabad, held from 18-22 April.
Yechury was elected by a new 95-member central committee, and a senior party member said on condition of anonymity the re-election was unanimous.
At its first meeting, the new central committee also elected a 17-member politburo, including Yechury, Prakash Karat, former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, Brinda Karat and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Yechury’s re-election was announced a few days after the CPM ruled out his proposal for forging a secular alliance with the Congress party. However, the party said it will have an “understanding" with the Congress and other secular parties both inside and outside Parliament on agreed issues.
“We had a momentous congress, detailed discussions and important decisions we have taken in this congress. If any message that should go to rank and file and our class enemy is that CPM has emerged as a united party," Yechury said in his speech during the conclusion of the congress on Sunday.
At the five-day congress, the party leadership reached a compromise on the major issue of joining hands with the Congress to defeat the BJP—while it rejected an electoral alliance, it finally decided to not completely close doors, saying it is ready to have an “understanding" with secular opposition parties, including the Congress.
Based on that decision, an amendment was moved a few days earlier by the CPM’s steering committee to make the change in the party constitution which lays down the political line.
“Outside Parliament, we should cooperate with all secular opposition forces for a broad mobilization of people against communalism," added the new clause.
The official draft of the party resolution, released two months ago, had ruled out an alliance with the Congress party. In the run-up to the meeting, the CPM leadership was divided on the issue. On Sunday, after the conclusion of the All India Congress, the party also held a massive public rally in Hyderabad.
Yechury took over the post from Prakash Karat in 2015.