New Delhi: The highest decision-making forum of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, will meet in Hyderabad from 18-22 April to finalize if the party will join hands with Congress and other regional parties for Lok Sabha and assembly elections in 2019.

The five-day meeting of the party’s 22nd Congress will also see the election to the post of general secretary, with Sitaram Yechury, elected in the last party congress in 2015, seeking a second term.

In the run-up to the meeting, the CPM leadership has been divided on various issues, including on the matter of alliance with the Congress party, a move that Yechury supports as a strategy to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

However, in its draft political resolution released in February, the CPM has already ruled out such an alliance.

“The meeting will finalize the political-tactical line of the CPM. The party is exploring ways to counter the BJP and what steps can be taken in that direction," a senior CPM leader said.

In an effort to revamp its organization, elections will also take place for the central committee.

“The elections to the central committee may see the introduction of new faces. Elections will also take place to the post of general secretary but the decision will be taken on the last day of the congress," the leader added.

The party is currently in power only in Kerala, having lost in Tripura earlier this year after completing five consecutive terms in power. There has also been a decline in the party’s representation in West Bengal where it was in power for over three decades.

The CPM, which had 43 members in the Lok Sabha in 2005, has seen its numbers fall to 15 in 2009 and a mere nine in 2014. Currently, the party has five members in the Rajya Sabha.

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