West Bengal: Mohammed Salim is named CPM state secretary

The Bengal CPM has constituted a new state committee with Mohammed Salim as state secretary — the first minority community member to hold the post after CPI’s split in 1964.

In a major reshuffle, CPM state secretary and former health minister Surya Kanta Mishra, Mridul De and former MLA Rabin Deb have been replaced in the state committee with new faces. Left Front Chairman Biman Bose has expressed his desire to retire and did not want to continue as the Left Front Chairman, sources said. Bose is not there in the new committee. Veterans like Goutom Deb and Nepaldeb have not been included.

Several new faces like Shatarup Ghosh, Nandigram candidate Meenakshi Mukhopadhyay and Singur candidate for the 2021 polls Srijan Bhattacharya have been inducted into the state committee. Meenakshi Mukhopadhyay, known for her fighter spirit, has fought the Nandigram assembly polls against two heavyweight leaders –Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari.

Sridip Bhattacharya, known to be an intellectual leader, was in the run to become West Bengal state secretary. It was learnt that Sujan Chakraborty and Rabin Deb, a former MLA and the central committee member, had supported Sridip Bhattacharya, sources said. But, with the intervention of the central leadership and support of state committee members, including Surya Kanta Mishra, Kallol Majumdar and Shamik Lahiri, Salim got elected as state secretary, sources in the party told ET.

Salim, with his extensive background in working at the grassroots level, has contested from various constituencies. As an MP, he has been a vocal face of the CPM in Parliament for years. Senior leader Prakash Karat, during his speech at the state conference, emphasised the need for grassroots experience for a leader to become the state secretary.

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