New Delhi: A three-day meeting of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, the party’s highest decision making body, ended on Monday without reaching a decision on a crucial draft political resolution that talks about future electoral alliances and understandings, among other issues.

The draft resolution will now be taken up for discussion at the CPM party congress which is scheduled to be held from 18 to 22 April next year in Hyderabad. The party congress meets every three years to discuss important political and organizational issues.

The issue is important because of the CPM’s electoral decline in recent years, which has prompted the question of whether it should forge alliances with other political parties in preparation for the 2019 general elections.

The CPM is faced with a divide over the issue, which primarily concerns its relationship with the Congress. While the West Bengal unit is in favour of alliances with other secular parties, the Kerala unit is not. The two sides submitted separate draft resolutions to the central committee. The reason is that in West Bengal, the CPM and the Congress are both in the opposition, while in Kerala the CPM leads the ruling Left Front and the Congress is in the opposition.

“The central committee took up discussion on both the proposals and has given the responsibility to Politburo of the party to find a way out from the issue. None of the proposals were rejected, instead the party has decided to reach an understanding ahead of the next central committee meeting in January," said a senior CPM leader, who did not wish to be named.

The CPM has seen a drastic decline in its electoral fortunes and is in power in only Kerala and Tripura. In 2014, the party managed to secure only nine seats in the Lok Sabha and has been reduced to seven members in the Rajya Sabha.

The party congress next year will see 765 elected delegates in attendance.

“The central committee authorized the Politburo to prepare the draft political resolution for the party congress on the basis of the Politburo outline and discussions in the central committee. Once we finalize our political line, we will decide on taking political parties on board," Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the CPM, told reporters on Monday.

The Politburo, which met earlier this month, had rejected a proposal to revise the resolution of the party.

According to the constitution of the party, the draft proposal has to be finalized two months ahead of the party congress.

The party was faced with a similar divide ahead of assembly elections in West Bengal in 2016. It finally contested the polls after reaching an understanding with the Congress party.

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