‘If the new retirement policy takes effect, about 40% of the CPM’s current state committee will have to step down’.
Kolkata: The CPM is planning to revive itself by infusing new blood and phasing out the older lot. The West Bengal CPM has given a clear message on the party’s retirement policy. The 60-year upper limit has already been implemented for new inclusions in the CPM’s state committee. The retirement age will be 60 in the district committee and 65 in the area committee. Earlier, Alimuddin Street had set an age limit of 72 years for being on the state committee.
A section of the party has raised questions on whether it is appropriate in politics to impose age limits in a “mechanical way”. In his reply, State Secretary Suryakanta Mishra made it clear that the age limit from the level of the Central Committee is going to be effective. This formula must be followed in all committees. They don’t want to think about “exceptions”. “Because, if you start having ‘exceptions’, it can quickly become a ‘normal’ trend!”
According to party sources, a section of the state leadership has also questioned the policy of fixing retirement age in the state secretariat discussions after the first day meeting of the state committee. They suggested that the average age of the members of the state or district committee should be fixed—then it will be beneficial to keep the balance of experienced and young faces. But the party’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury and state secretary Suryababu were not at all inclined to show “relaxation” on the issue. If the new retirement policy takes effect, about 40% of the CPM’s current state committee will have to step down. About 50% of the current district leadership will also have to retire.
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, so that “a younger CPM” soon emerges.
Reviewing the party’s plight in the state, the CPM’s Central Committee’s review note also directly questioned the decision to form a united front with the Congress and the ISF. “The party has decided to enter into electoral compromises with others to consolidate the anti-Trinamool and anti-BJP votes,” it said. But in West Bengal, the United Front was propagated in the name of the United Front by negotiating seats with the Congress and the ISF, calling for the formation of an alternative government.