The CPI-M on Sunday unanimously re-elected Sitaram Yechury as its General Secretary for another three years and he pledged to take steps to oust the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Yechury's re-election took place on the last day of the party's 22nd Congress here, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader and former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar announced.
Sarkar said Yechury, 65, was elected by a 95-member new Central Committee, which also elected a 17-member new Polit Bureau. Tapan Sen and Nilotpal Basu are the new faces in the Polit Bureau.
"Yechury's election was unanimous. There was no contest," Sarkar told IANS.
Yechury, who has been a member of the CPI-M since 1974 when he joined its student wing, was first elected the CPI-M General Secretary in 2015.
Born in Chennai, Yechury was educated in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, a city where he has spent most of his life.
Re-elected to the top post a year ahead of the general elections, Yechury said the CPI-M's first goal was to oust the BJP-RSS Modi government.
He said they were mounting a challenge to the neo-liberal offensive that was aggressively unleashed by the Modi government and the RSS-BJP combine.
"We are declaring to the country and to the whole world that we will not allow secular democratic foundations of India to be torn asunder by these communal forces and India shall remain united," he said to thunderous applause by delegates gathered from across India.
He said he would try to fulfil the immense responsibility of this office to the best of his capability.
"If there is one message that has gone out from this 22nd party Congress, it is that the CPI-M has emerged united and determined to carry our the revolutionary task of putting forward alternative policy framework against ruling classes' policies," he said.
The Marxist leader claimed that all hopes of the 'class enemy' to see a weakened CPI-M had been belied.
He said the party was now determined to change the course of India's destiny.
"We are embarking on a new course of intensified struggle in defence of our country and in the interest of our people, to change India for the better. Our main task today is to defeat the BJP-led government. All necessary measures are being undertaken as decided by the party Congress."
Yechury said the party would not let India become a surrogate or junior partner to US imperialism.
The five-day conclave saw the groups led by Yechury and former General Secretary Prakash Karat agreeing to amendments in the draft political resolution.
The resolution, while ruling out a political alliance with the Congress party, made it clear that it was ready for an understanding with that party. It reiterated that its first and foremost goal was to defeat the BJP.
The CPI-M, the largest party of the Left, has faced electoral reverses in West Bengal and more recently in Tripura. It is now in power in only Kerala.
In the newly-elected Central Committee, there are 20 new members. While 19 names were announced, one seat is kept vacant for a woman. The party also announced Rajinder Negi and Sanjay Parate as permanent invitees. The six special invitees are V.S. Achuthanandan, Mallu Swarajyam, Madan Ghosh, Paloli Mohd Kutty, A.P. Ramaiah, and K. Varadharajan.
The five-member Central Control Commission will be headed by Basudev Acharia. The members are P. Rajendran, S. Sridhar, G. Ramulu and Bonani Biswas.