D Raja likely to be CPI General Secretary

D Raja likely to be CPI General Secretary

If chosen, Raja will be the first Dalit to hold the post in the CPI. 

A popular face of the CPI, 69-year-old Raja's name was recommended by the National Executive for ratification after considering the discussions in the National Secretariat.

D Raja is tipped to be the General Secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) with its National Executive recommending his name as the successor to incumbent S Sudhakar Reddy, who expressed his willingness to step down owing to health reasons, to its National Council.

If chosen, he will be the first Dalit to hold the post in the CPI. 

A popular face of the CPI, 69-year-old Raja's name was recommended by the National Executive for ratification after considering the discussions in the National Secretariat. The Executive's recommendation will now be discussed by the National Council on Friday and Saturday and a final decision will be taken.

Raja, a two-term Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu whose term is ending next week, is National Secretary of the CPI since 1994 and had worked under former CPI General Secretaries Indrajit Gupta, A B Bardhan and Reddy.

Sources said Reddy proposed Raja's name for the post and both the Secretariat and Executive chose Raja after discussions. Its Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Vishwam will be party organ New Age's Editor and he will succeed Shameem Faizi, who died recently.

Reddy, who has two more years left before his third term ends, had told CPI Central Secretariat and National Executive in May that he would like to step down taking moral responsibility for the party's debacle in Lok Sabha elections where it could win only two seats.

The leaders had then rejected his suggestion saying that they work on collective leadership and there was no need for Reddy alone to take responsibility. Reddy (77), who succeeded A B Bardhan in 2012 as General Secretary, had also spoke about his health condition and that he may not be effective in carrying out responsibilities, which prompted the party to discuss his successor.