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Ganapathi has been replaced, say Maoists

Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathi  

Maoists have released a statement saying their chief Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi has stepped down voluntarily due to “falling health and old age”.

The current chief Basavaraju, who has a reward of over ₹2 crore on his head, replaced Ganapathi last year.

According to a senior government official, Basavaraju, 63, a B.Tech from Warangal in Telangana, was last spotted in Odisha’s Malkangiri district in July.

The statement in Hindi dated November 10, said that at the fifth meeting of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoists), Ganapathi proposed that Basavaraju alias Nambala Keshava Rao take over as the general secretary of the banned outfit.

“The central committee discussed the proposal and elected Basavaraju as the general secretary,” a statement issued by Abhay, spokesperson of the outfit, said.

 

A senior government official said that in February 2017, the central committee, the top decision-making body of the Maoists, met in the Abujhmad area of Chhattisgarh where it was decided that the senior leadership should step down as most of them were very old. “The fifth meeting where Ganapathi proposed Basavaraju’s name followed the meeting where the younger leadership pressured the seniors to step down. We are not sure where the fifth meeting took place,” said the official.

The statement said Ganapathi had led the outfit for 25 years, from 1992-2017.

It said Basavaraju, 63, has been part of the CC for more than 27 years and has been a part of the politburo for 18 years.

 

Central Reserve Police Force Director-General R.R Bhatnagar said, “This is a press release issued by the Maoists. We will look for further verification.” The CRPF is the largest Central force deployed for anti-Maoist operations in 10 States.

Once played for A.P.

“Basavaraju has headed the forest division in Dandakaranya [Chhattisgarh] in the past and is also the head of intelligence and military wing. He represented Andhra Pradesh in volleyball during college days He regularly dyes hair now. He accompanied Ganapathi to Parasnath Hills in Giridih in 2013,” a dossier prepared on him by the security agencies said.

On September 26, 2017, The Hindu broke the story about the possible changes in the Maoist leadership.

Basavaraju is an expert in explosives and military techniques, has good network with arms traders and is a military strategist. He appears to be a better choice over other senior leaders.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 4:22:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ganapathi-has-been-replaced-say-maoists/article25616898.ece

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