Left rules out third Rajya Sabha term for Sitaram Yechury
A top CPI(M) leader on Tuesday ruled out chances of party general secretary Sitaram Yechury's name being proposed for a third Rajya Sabha term, saying the Left cannot seek the help of Congress as the party does not align with its political agenda.
Yechury's name for election from West Bengal came up for discussion during the Left party's on-going central committee meeting in the capital. "The unit feels you cannot have party's top leader getting elected with the help of another party and that too a rival party. This also goes against the political-tactical line of the party," the leader said.
At least four members spoke on the proposal, forwarded by the CPI(M)'s West Bengal unit, after it was mooted in the morning session of the three-day meeting. He said that the 91-member central committee stands divided on the proposal. The Kerala unit in particular is opposed to the idea of sending Yechury to the Upper House again and that too with the support of Congress.
According to a CPI(M) norm, none of its leaders can have more than two terms in the Upper House. Yechury himself has already stated that he will stick to the norm being party's general secretary. The second term of Yechury, a Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal, ends next month.
The election for the seat is scheduled on August 8 and the deadline for filing nomination is July 28.
"So, the central committee will have to take a decision before that deadline. The issue came up for discussion in the morning session. More discussion is expected on the proposal in the second half. Voting will be held on the proposal, if need be," the leader said.
The Congress has been the arch rival of the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front in the southern state.
The West Bengal unit of the party had in June this year recommended another term for Yechury. This was after the central leadership of Congress reportedly offered its support to Yechury, considered as one of the effective opposition voices, to get him re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.
The politburo had rejected the state unit's proposal. The Left Front has 32 MLAs, including 26 of the CPI(M), in the West Bengal assembly. The numbers are not enough to send Yechury or any other Left leader to the Rajya Sabha again.