For the first time in its history, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided that all members occupying the post of secretary — from local committee up to the party general secretary — cannot hold office beyond three terms.

An amendment to this effect was approved by the ongoing party congress late on Sunday night.

The move brings the party in line with a similar arrangement made by the Communist Party of India. The CPI has a four-term limit that led to the change of guard at its latest party congress in Patna last month with S. Sudhakar Reddy taking over from A.B. Bardhan.

The CPI(M) general secretary's term lasts between two congress sessions, usually held in a three-year gap. But the ongoing 20th congress got delayed due to the Assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala last year.

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