Over the last two days, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury offered to step down from his position twice first in the party's Politburo meeting on Saturday and then again on Sunday when the Central Committee met to vote on the two draft resolutions.
However, his offer of resignation was rejected unanimously both times. “I offered my resignation. It was rejected by the Politburo and the Central Committee unanimously for the sake of party unity. Because of that sentiment I continue. The Kurukshetra (battlefield) of this Mahabharata will be the party Congress.”
The Left leader’s offer of resignation came as the party was split down the middle between two factions one headed by Yechury which favoured an alliance with the Congress for 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the other led by Prakash Karat which didn’t want any truck with the Congress.
The two factions moved their respective draft resolutions for voting in the Central Committee meeting, following which the Karat faction prevailed by a margin of 55 to 31 votes. This resolution will now be placed before the party congress in Hyderabad in April.
According to a party source, Yechury offered to step down “because his understanding was not accepted.”
Incidentally, Yechury had never pushed for a formal alliance with the Congress, but the resolution accepted by the Central Committee rules out any understanding with the Grand Old Party.
The position of its General Secretary gravely weakened, party insiders say there is more to the saga. “It is plain to see that there can be no secular democratic forces without the Congress. The suggestion itself is ridiculous. So why are they opposing it so vehemently?” said a source.
The Karat faction is thought to have won the vote because of the strong presence of Kerala unit in the Central Committee. This faction may want to see Yechury replaced when his term comes to an end.
The party congress is set to be held in April this year where the final political tactical line would be adopted.