New Delhi: CPI(M) is expected to see a change of leadership in its 21st Party Congress in April and a decision on the matter would be taken by the new Central Committee to be elected there.
"Who will be the next General Secretary or the new members of the Politburo is a decision to be taken by the new Central Committee, which will be elected in the Party Congress," senior leader Sitaram Yechury told PTI.
Asked about reports that he could be the next General Secretary of the major Left party, Yechury said, "This is beyond the jurisdiction of the present leadership".
"We have no authority to talk about these matters till the new Central Committee is elected," the Politburo member said on phone from Kolkata when his reaction was sought on the reports.
The Party Congress, to be held in Vishakhapatnam from April 14-19, would elect a new Central Committee, which would in turn elect the Politburo and the new General Secretary on the last day. The Central Committee comprises members elected from different states and the mass organisations.
Though the CPI(M) leadership is tightlipped about the changes, names doing the rounds for the new General Secretary range from Yechury to Politburo members B V Raghavulu and S Ramachandran Pillai.
Karat would demit office at the end of three terms, as the amended Party constitution caps the number of terms for all secretaries - from local level to the states and the General Secretary - to a maximum of three terms.
Each term is of three years, starting from one Party Congress or state party conference (for state unit secretaries) to another.
Besides the elections, the main task of a Party Congress is to outline its direction for the next three years and decide on the political-tactical line to be adopted in the emerging political scenario.
The party has already said that in view of the "changed" political situation, it would fight the "right-wing offensive" by carrying out political and ideological struggle against BJP-RSS combine as its main task, while also ruling out any truck with Congress.
It would work actively to rally other left and democratic secular forces to form a front for united action.
"The party has to conduct a political and ideological struggle against the BJP-RSS combine. The fight against communalism cannot be conducted in isolation. It has to be integrated with the struggle against the neo-liberal policies and in defence of people's livelihood," the draft political resolution, to be adopted at the Party Congress, says.