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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Revamp likely after party conference: Young guns may get important roles in Bengal CPM

If the party’s plan to ring in changes in the top leadership is implemented, key West Bengal campaigners such as Biman Basu and Suryakanta Mishra will have to step down in a matter of months and be replaced with younger leaders.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
August 15, 2021 4:17:17 am
Sitaram Yechury, Yecury on postal ballots to NRI, Sitaram Yechury to CEC, Sunil Arora, NRI voting, India news, Indian expressCPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury. (File)

The CPI(M) could be in for a major revamp soon, replacing seasoned leaders with young guns in key leadership roles.

If the party’s plan to ring in changes in the top leadership is implemented, key West Bengal campaigners such as Biman Basu and Suryakanta Mishra will have to step down in a matter of months and be replaced with younger leaders. The changes could come into effect after the upcoming party conference.

The CPI(M) is working on a plan to cap the age limit for being a member of the Central Committee, a key decision-making panel in the party, to 65. In line with the proposed policy shift at the central level, the party’s state leadership at Alimuddin Street also wants to set the maximum age limit for being a state committee member at 72. For district committees, the retirement age of key office bearers could be set at 60. In case of area committees, the members might be mandated to retire at 65.

However, the party’s Bengal unit has already fixed the maximum age limit for inclusion at the state committee at 60.

The proposed age limit was discussed in the just-concluded state committee meeting of the party.

Some of the district leaders in the state committee, however, questioned if it was important in politics to prioritise youth over experience when it came to assigning leadership roles.

To that, the leadership responded that the proposed age limits should be enforced across committees in accordance with the party’s policy. It was made clear that no one should be treated as an ‘exception’ because if one person is considered as an ‘exception’, many others might ask to be treated similarly.

A section in the party asked if it was appropriate to impose age limits in a ‘mechanical way’.

In response to a question on the same day, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “The Central Committee is going to set an upper limit of 65 years. The upper limit of the Central Committee will be lower than that of the state and other committees. This principle must be obeyed by all. Soon you will see a younger CPI(M) .”

The state leadership has reportedly drawn the wrath of Yechury on the way party organisations are run in West Bengal.

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