Comrade Sitaram Yechury’s bid for a 3rd Rajya Sabha term was rejected by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday. The CPI(M) Polit Bureau had on 7th June denied a 3rd term to their General Secretary Yechury by citing the party’s convention but the Bengal State Committee had wanted an exception to be made in his case.
This logjam led to a voting round where by a 50:30 vote it was decided that Yechury won’t be given a 3rd term. The state commission of Bengal was then asked to either pick an independent candidate acceptable to all the opposition parties or go solo in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.
The main opposition to Yechury’s candidature came from the Kerala unit of the party. According to reports, it was Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, party’s former General Secretary Prakash Karat and a few other leaders who had put their foot down when it came to Yechury’s candidature.
According to the report, Yechury’s candidature would have been considered if the party was in a better position. Of the 6 Rajya Sabha seats which are up for elections in West Bengal, the TMC is expected to win 5. The CPM on the other hand could only retain its lone seat with the help of support from the Congress party. Now it seems the party leadership would talk to the Congress party for fielding a common candidate.
The current term of Sitaram Yechury ends on 18th August and 28th July is the last date to file the nominations. Yechury has now been quoted by the media as stating that he would now focus on spending more time with the party to fulfil his role as its General Secretary.
Currently the CPM has 8 Rajya Sabha MPs and 9 Lok Sabha MPs. If the CPM and the Congress agree on an independent candidate then the strength of the Communist party might diminish further in the Parliament.