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D. Raja takes over as CPI general secretary

D. Raja. File

D. Raja. File   | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam

In a change of guard in the Communist Party of India (CPI), Rajya Sabha member D. Raja took over as party general secretary on July 21 with the incumbent general secretary Sudhakar Reddy stepping down from the post due to ill-health.

A two-time Rajya Sabha MP, Mr. Raja's second term ends on July 24.

Mr. Raja, 70, is the first Dalit to occupy the position in a mainstream communist party. He started out as a student leader and rose through the ranks to become the CPI’s national secretary in 1994.

His name was proposed unanimously by the CPI national secretariat, which met on July 18 and 19. The National Council ratified his name on July 20.

He is taking over the party at a critical time when it has been reduced to a single seat in Lok Sabha and the Election Commission is mulling on revoking its national status.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Raja said that the country was going through a “critical phase” under the “fascist regime” of BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Left might have lost seats in Lok Sabha election and may have been reduced as a smaller force in Parliament, doesn’t mean our ideological or political influence has shrunk within the country. We are the hope for the people of this country,” he said.

Known for his affable nature, Mr. Raja has been one of most visible faces of the party in Delhi. “We will continue to fight the retrograde policies of this government. The BJP government may have won the electoral battle but not social or political one,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 6:36:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/d-raja-takes-over-as-cpi-general-secretary/article28626860.ece

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