Sitaram Yechury was re-elected as the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday at the 22nd Congress in Hyderabad. This will be the second term for the 65-year-old leader.
According to reports, the new central committee of the party unanimously elected Yechury to the top post. His election comes amid speculation that Politbur member Prakash Karat was pushing for some other candidate, possibly former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, for the top post.
— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) April 22, 2018
There have been differences between Yechury and Karat camps over the party’s political line, which emerged clearly at the session in Hyderabad.
While both camps were in agreement about the party’s anti-BJP and anti-Hindutva stance, they differed over support to Congress. The Yechury camp wanted an electoral alliance with the Congress to defeat the BJP, which Karat’s camp didn’t support.
Karat’s supporters held the view that even though the CPI(M) should unite all “secular” parties under a single umbrella against the saffron party, it should not ally with the Congress.
Yechury’s proposal is to maintain an “electoral understanding” with the Congress but did not call for forming a government with the grand old party.
— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) April 21, 2018
On Day 3 of the congress on 20 April, Yechury said members were in agreement that “our main fight is against the BJP/RSS and to defeat this Government” and called for strengthening of the “party, our unity and our fight to defeat this Government”.
In a statement, the CPI(M) said that any political alliance with the Congress was ruled out.
“Such an alliance with the major party of the Indian ruling classes will weaken our struggle against building the unity of the people for a policy alternative to the ruling classes,” the statement read.
It, however, took a more positive tone on an “understanding” citing the one they within Parliament “we have understanding with Secular opposition parties including the Congress on agreed issues”.
At the conclusion of the 22nd Congress, the party also elected a new 95-member central committee unanimously.
Yechury will remain the general secretary for a period of three years.