CPI-M re-elects Karat general secretary

April 3rd, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Coimbatore, April 3 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday re-elected Prakash Karat as its general secretary and dropped veterans Jyoti Basu and Harkishen Singh Surjeet from the party’s highest decision making body. The new 15-member politburo has three new faces: Kerala Home Minister Kodiyari Balakrishnan, Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) general secretary Mohammed Amin and West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen.

The other politburo members are Chief Ministers V.S. Achuthanandana of Kerala, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of West Bengal and Manik Sarkar of Tripura, Sitaram Yechury, CITU president M.K. Pandhe, Pinarayi Vijayan, S. Ramachandran Pillai, Biman Bose, K. Varadarajan, B.V. Raghavulu and Brinda Karat.

The Central Committee consists of 86 members, of which 16 are new faces.

Karat was first elected general secretary three years ago in New Delhi at the last congress of the CPI-M, the country’s dominant leftist group.

Former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu and former general secretary Surjeet, who Karat succeeded, are among the nine members of the first politburo who founded the CPI-M in 1964. All the other seven are dead.

Surjeet and Basu have been unwell for months. Surjeet had stopped attending politburo meetings while Basu had been urging the party to relieve him from the politburo. The request was finally accepted at the party congress here.

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