The Bengal CPM has formed a new State Commission with Mohammed Salim as Secretary of State – the first member of the minority community to hold the position after the split of the CPI in 1964.

In a major reshuffle, CPM Secretary of State and former Health Minister Surya Kanta Mishra, Mridul De and former MLA Rabin Deb have been replaced in the state commission with new faces. Front Left Chairman Biman Bose has expressed his wish to retire and not continue as Front Left chairman, sources said. Bose is not on the new committee. Veterans like Goutom Deb and Nepaldeb are not included.

Several new faces such as Shatarup Ghosh, Nandigram candidate Meenakshi Mukhopadhyay and Singur candidate for the 2021 polls, Srijan Bhattacharya, have been included in the state commission. Known for her fighting spirit, Meenakshi Mukhopadhyay has fought two heavyweight leaders – Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram Assembly polls.

Known as an intellectual leader, Sridip Bhattacharya was on the run to become Secretary of State for West Bengal. It was learned 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 the support of state committee members including Surya Kanta Mishra, Kallol Majumdar and Shamik Lahiri, Salim was elected secretary of state, party sources told ET.

Salim, with his extensive background in grassroots work, has competed from several constituencies. As a member of parliament, he has been a speaking face of the CPM in parliament for years. Senior leader Prakash Karat, speaking at the state conference, emphasized the need for basic experience for a leader to become secretary of state.

This post cpm: West Bengal: Mohammed Salim is named Secretary of State of CPM

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