It seems that the silver lining is coming to an end for the CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, as the CPI (m)’s highest cadre has rejected the West Bengal government’s proposal to extend Yechury’s third term for the Rajya Sabha. The decision came from four members of CPI (M)’s central committee meeting held on Tuesday. The leaders completely overruled the proposal saying that Sitaram Yechury cannot be elected for a third term especially if the proposal comes from a rival party which is absolutely against the agenda of the party rules.
The Bengal unit’s proposal came after Cong demanded that it was willing to stake a claim for a Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal only if CPI(M) fielded Sitaram Yechury.
This stark decision by the party’s highest cadre surfaces the undercurrents of the CPI(M)’s internal rift characteristes by a pro and anti Yechury camp.
The CPI(M)’s 91 member central committee remains divided on the proposal of sending Yechury to the Upper House that too with the Congress recommendation.
The sources reveal that it’s primarily CPI (M)’s anti-Yechury camp mostly represented by the Kerala unit that is opposing Yechury’s third term election. The party’s Kerala cadre seems to have an upper hand in the decision making body of the politburo as well as the central committee.
The second term for Sitaram Yechury, a Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal comes to end next month. According to the CPI(M) party norm no leader can serve the Upper House for more than two terms. This strong rejection also came from most of the CPI(M) members in the southern states where Congress is an arch rival.
The CPI(M) central committee has total 91 members out of which 10 are permanent. In the meeting that was convened on Tuesday, around 50 members voted against the proposal of the third term and 30 members voted for it.
The deadline for filing the nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat comes to an end on the 28th of July, while the election for the next seat is scheduled on the 8th of August.
Of the six Rajya Sabha seats in West Bengal the TMC emerges as the strongest contender with the strength to grab five seats. While neither the left nor the Congress have the numbers to chase the target of 42 votes.
The Left has 32 MLAs, including 26 of the CPI(M), in the West Bengal assembly. The numbers fall short to send Yechury or any other Left leader to the Rajya Sabha again. However, with the support of Congress’ 44 MLAs, Yechury could easily be re-elected to the upper House, the leader said.
CPI(M) General secretary Sitaram Yechury himself stepped down from an incumbent third term proposal for his candidature, saying it’s against the norms of the Left Front. The opposition party has been constantly pushing for Yechury’s third term as he has been prolific face and has a strong voice to take on the BJP in the Rajya Sabha.
According to sources Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi VIjayan was hell bent against taking Congress help for Yechury’s candidature for the Rajya Sabha election.
CPM currently represents eight members in the Upper House. Two of its other members from West Bengal — Tapan Kumar Sen and Ritabrata Banerjee will retire in 2020. After that the party will not have any member in the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.
The denial of Yechury’s candidature for a consecutive third term would signal an end to his 12 year illustrious stint in the Rajya Sabha.
So far the Left Front hasn’t filed any nomination for its Rajya Sabha seat, however its remains to be watched close on heels as to what is the party’s imminent move to gain the ground in the Rajya Sabha.