However, General Secretary A B Bardhan said the proposed change in leadership had "nothing to do" with the recent debacle suffered by the Left, especially in the strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala.
"Our party constitution provides that no General Secretary can continue for more than three terms. All I can tell you is that there will be a change as far as the CPI is concerned. I have completed my term," the 86-year-old communist leader said in response to a question at a press conference here.
"We will have our 21st party Congress in Patna in March next year. That is where a new leadership is elected...But this change has nothing to do with the recent developments. We always take responsibility both at the collective and individual levels," Bardhan, who succeeded Indrajit Gupta as CPI General Secretary in 1996, said.
Briefing journalists on a two-day meeting of the party's National Executive here, he said the CPI and other parties would sit together and decide on launching nationwide agitations soon on the policies of the UPA government.
The issues to be raised during these protests would include price rise, food security, land acquisition and corruption.