CPI-M limits three terms to its leaders

April 5th, 2012 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode (Kerala), April 5 (IANS) The CPI-M has decided to limit the term of its leadership to three terms, but this is not linked to squabbles within, general secretary Prakash Karat said Thursday.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist leader said on the sidelines of the 20th party congress that this would cover all posts right from that of the general secretary to the lowest level.

He hastened to add that this was no sudden decision.

“We have come to the conclusion that this would help because we are now a party of more than 10 lakh,” he said.

“Earlier when our party membership was around 40,000, and at times we had to work from underground, our stress then was continuity in leadership.

“Now we are in a different level. Three terms means, around a decade, and it is a long time. By fixing the term, it would be possible to rejuvenate the party,” he said.

He denied media speculation that delegates from West Bengal had asked for a leadership change.

He admitted there was factionalism in the party.

“In our party we follow democratic centralism, it is a collective functioning and collective leadership. At times violation takes place, which we characterstize as factionalism.

“In some places it has risen but this is not a common issue. We have taken steps to curb this and we have succeeded to a large extent,” Karat said.

He said the party had given former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee “leave of absence” because of his ill-health.

“We are missing him but he is following the congress from Kolkatta.”

Karat was asked if he was right in withdrawing the Left’s support to the Congress-led UPA government in 2008 over the India-US nuclear deal, which led to a Congress-Trinamool Congress marriage and the end of Left rule in West Bengal.

“We feel we should have withdrawn support earlier when they (India) went to the IAEA. Our only regret is that we could not stop the nuclear deal from going ahead,” he said.

On protests in Singur in West Bengal which led to anger against the Marxists, Karat said the CPI-M regime wanted the industrial project to go ahead as a comprehensive rehabilitation package was widely accepted.

“Eighty percent of those whose land was taken had accepted the package. Now we realise that a project can be stalled if 20 percent oppose,” said Karat.

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