A key objective of the CPI(M)’s West Bengal committee meet on Monday for the triennial State conference would be to convince former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to stay on as a member of the State Committee and Secretariat. The task is “difficult”, said senior leaders, as Mr. Bhattacharya has repeatedly requested the party to relieve him.A senior State Secretariat member told The Hindu that they want Mr. Bhattacharya to remain a member of the highest decision making body in the State as he is “active.”“He is reading and writing a lot. The party unanimously wants him in the State Committee. But he is the only person in the Committee who is not willing to stay, largely due to his chronic lung inflammation [COPD] and some eye related issues,” a State Secretariat member told The Hindu. He added that Mr. Bhattacharya may stay on as an invitee, rather than a regular member.Reshuffle Apart from Mr. Bhattacharya, several other State and Central Committee members from Bengal are likely to be dropped. While many are unwell, the party also feels the need to promote “new faces”, a party insider said.“Out of 96 State Committee members, about 20 may get replaced. They may get promoted from the district level,” he said. About 300 new faces were recently inducted in the district committees and State Committee members will be selected from them.“There will be a combination of hardliners and soft-liners in the State Committee,” said the party insider. Senior leader and Polit Bureau member Md. Salim may be entrusted with new responsibilities, party sources said.Divided on allianceThe other issue to be debated at the five-day conference is an alliance with the Congress. The State Committee is still divided with the majority backing an understanding with Congress. But six out of 23 district committees — including the Kolkata district committee — are against the move. A section of the State Committee, which backs the idea of “a tactical understanding” said the avenues to negotiate with the Congress have not been closed as January’s The reason, they said, is that draft political resolution highlighted adopted in January has two issues. While the resolution noted that the CPI(M) “cannot have a tactical line which treats them [Congress] as allies or partners in a united front.”, it did not discount the “threat” from BJP which is linked to the RSS. BJP and Congress “cannot” be treated as “equal dangers”, the resolution noted.Moreover, the resolution suggested, in a section on the Congress, that the party’s tactical approach “should be to cooperate with the Congress and other secular opposition parties in Parliament”, while also cooperating “outside Parliament…for a broad mobilisation of people against the communal threat.”Inaugurating the 25th State conference, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said he was “hopeful” about the objective to form “new and alternative policy” to counter the BJP-led government in the Centre.