CPM to infuse fresh blood in apex party bodies by setting age cap

Rival claims of majority point to a closely contested election
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan at an election campaign road show in his constituency Pinarayi, in Kannur, Sunday, April 4, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: The Kerala unit of the CPM is all set to implement an age limit. Those above the age of 75 are likely to be relieved from the state secretariat and state committee.

Anathalavattom Anandan and M M Mani from the state secretariat, and around 15 members from the state committee are likely to be excluded.

If the age limit in the state committee is lowered further than 75, then it would lead to a major overhaul.

Need for generational change

In the party Congress held in Coimbatore in 2008, the age limit of 80 years was implemented in the CPM central committee (CC). This is believed to have helped usher in the new generation to a certain extent. In Kerala, the party gave emphasis to generational change in this year’s Assembly polls and cabinet formation.

P Rajeev, who initiated the discussions at the CPM plenum in Kolkata in December 2015, had contended that the leadership had failed to factor in the youth and that a cadre policy for encouraging youngsters was needed. Another suggestion mooted then was to ensure at least 25 per cent women representation in party membership.

The leaders are of the view that the party needs to do more to woo youngsters, and increase the representation of women and SC/ST communities. The party in West Bengal has been reduced to an existence in name only. The party's prospects look bleak in Tripura as well. This is also being attributed to a failure to encourage youngsters in leadership roles by capping the average age of leaders at various levels.

The party reckons that the only way to avoid some people becoming a permanent presence in the party committees was to implement the age-ceiling.

CPI too looking at youth

CPI general secretary D Raja said that the party is also considering to woo more youngsters. The national executive committee that will meet on September 4 and 5 to discuss this.

CPM party conferences

The CPM state committee will meet on August 16 and 17 to discuss about conducting the party conferences and the guidelines in Kerala. Conferences are likely to begin next month. As there are only 15 people for the branch meetings, there are no hurdles in conducting these despite COVID-19 restrictions. The state committee will take a call on conducting the other meetings in compliance with the Covid guidelines.

The state conference will be held in January.

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