Bengal unit, which backs Yechury’s line of a poll pact with Congress, is asking for a secret ballot although there is no precedent for it in the party.
Hyderabad: The CPI(M)’s 22nd Party Congress in Hyderabad is set to witness tense moments as a section of the delegates, which supports general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s political line of not ruling out an understanding with the Congress party, is pressing for a secret ballot on the political resolution, a first in the party.
Party sources said the West Bengal unit, which backs Yechury’s line, is asking for a secret ballot. A significant number of delegates, thus, are in favour of this. However, there is no precedent of secret ballot based voting on political resolution. The politburo — the party’s highest body — will meet Friday afternoon to take a decision on this issue. The politburo, however, is not likely to favour this option.
Hectic parleys on the political line to be adopted have been on since Thursday morning. Essentially, the divide is between the resolutions tabled by Yechury and his predecessor Prakash Karat over the question of whether there should be any electoral alliance or understanding with the Congress.
In the central committee meet held in January this year, Yechury’s line was defeated by a vote of 31 versus 55, with the committee adopting the draft resolution backed by Karat that ruled out any understanding with the Congress whatsoever.
Sources say while earlier, numbers were heavily stacked against Yechury, several states are now backing him and hence, the figures in favour of both Karat and Yechury now seem more balanced. This, sources say, is why the minority view is demanding a secret ballot.
In an unlikely situation, if a secret ballot is opted for, it would be a major departure from the past for a party that gives utmost importance to precedents and tradition.
Which political line is adopted is also crucial for the fortunes of Yechury. If his line is defeated, it becomes morally untenable for him to continue, even though the party constitution does not call for a general secretary’s resignation if his/her line isn’t adopted.
The Party Congress, which takes place once in three years, is the highest decision making body of the CPI(M). Besides adopting a political, tactical line for the party, the Congress also elects a general secretary, nominates its politburo and names the central committee.