On Decision on Rajya Sabha Election from West Bengal

The following is the statement issued by the Polit Bureau on July 27.

WEST Bengal state secretariat of the Party had requested that Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Party, be re-nominated for the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal on the completion of his term. The Polit Bureau had discussed this matter in its meeting of June 6 and 7, 2017. It decided not to accept the proposal of the West Bengal state secretariat. 

The reasons for this decision are as follows:

1)   Given the present strength of the Left Front in the Assembly (31 seats), Sitaram Yechury can be elected only with the support of the Congress which has 37 MLAs. This would mean that the general secretary of the Party should have to go to the Rajya Sabha with the support of the Congress.  Such an understanding would not be in conformity with the Political-Tactical Line of the Party as adopted in the 21st Congress.

2)   It has been the organisational practice of the CPI(M) ever since it was founded in 1964 that the general secretary will not be involved in the parliamentary forum as the main focus has to be to discharge the political-organisational tasks.  When Sitaram Yechury was elected as general secretary in 2015, he was a member of the Rajya Sabha.  The Polit Bureau had decided that he should complete his term, as a by-election would have gifted the seat to the Trinamul Congress.   

3)   The two-term limit for membership of the Rajya Sabha was evolved three decades ago in the Party.  This norm was introduced to ensure that there are new leaders coming to work in the parliamentary forum. This is not a rigid norm, but given the above two considerations, it was not felt necessary to relax this norm.

In the Central Committee meeting of the Party held on July 24-26, 2017, this decision of the Polit Bureau was placed before the Central Committee for its approval.  The Central Committee, after discussing the matter endorsed the decision of the Polit Bureau.

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