CPI-M Politburo member and Opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra was on Friday elected as the new state secretary of the party’s West Bengal unit, replacing Biman Bose who held the forte since 2006.
Announcing the change, Politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters that Mishra was ‘unanimously’ elected as the new state secretary after his name was proposed by Biman Bose and seconded by another Politburo member and former state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
“This is an added responsibility...The people of the state are looking to us to save the state from the anarchy and corruption of the TMC regime,” Mishra told reporters after being elected the new state secretary.
Biman Bose had taken over in 2006 from Anil Biswas who had suffered a sudden death and Mishra’s anointment today signalled the change of the old guard.
Mishra became only the second leader in the history of CPI-M since its formation in 1964 to be holding both the post of Opposition leader and state secretary.
Earlier Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu had simultaneously played the two roles in the late sixties.
The CPI-M Bengal unit which today ended its 24th state conference also elected 24 new members in the 85-member strong state committee.
Out of the 24 new members, 19 are fresh faces who have come up from the students’, peasants’ and worker’s mass movements. Ten minority faces have also been inducted into the newly-formed state committee.
However, setting at rest speculation, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Biman Bose too were kept in the newly-elected state committee, though during the state conference both of them, who are in their 70s, had expressed desire to step down from the state committee citing health ground and old age.