When the Bengal CPM state committee’s proposal for Yechury’s re-nomination came up for discussion in the PB meeting, the Prakash Karat camp resisted the idea by arguing that it would go against the party thesis and electoral positioning to have the general secretary elected to the Rajya Sabha with the support of Congress MLAs.
Kerala CPM representatives, engaged in an electoral turf-war with the Congress, sided with the Karat camp. However, the Bengal leaders in the PB, along with their Tripura colleagues, put up strong arguments in favour of giving Yechury another term.
They cited anti-BJP political regrouping among Opposition parties and the need to have an articulate party voice like Yechury in Parliament against the BJP.
Those opposed to his third term cited a two-term bar, while the other side pushed for overlooking this, given the ‘extraordinary’ political situation.
They also reportedly argued that if Yechury was not fielded, the CPM may find it difficult to win the only seat the Left can manage with Congress backing in Bengal. They argued that Yechury would not be a common candidate but Congress would only choose not to field a candidate.
After CPM and Congress fought the last Bengal assembly polls in an open alliance and close coordination against the BJP in Delhi, the opposition to Yechury’s reentry into RS may be rooted in a PB section’s personal antipathy to him, as he became general secretary despite its opposition.
PB members from Tamil Nadu were reportedly split on the issue. The section which was opposed to Karat faction may be hoping to mobilise a majority in the July central committee meeting if the issue has to be settled by a vote.