news Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 05:30
Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury on Sunday was elected as the next general secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), replacing Prakash Karat who stepped down after three terms. (2005-15) Yechury is the fifth general secretary of the CPI(M). He and Polit Bureau member S. Ramachandran Pillai were competing for the post but the latter chose to withdraw, making it a unanimous win for the former. Incidentally, this is the second time in India's political history and the first time in almost 30 years, that two telugu speaking people are general secretaries for the two prominent left parties in the country. The first time this occurred was between 1964 and 1976, when two prominent leaders from Andhra Pradesh were the general secretaries of their respective parties. Chandra Rajeswara Rao for the CPI and Puchalapalli Sundarayya for the CPI(M)  Chandra Rajeswara Rao or ‘CR’, as he was popularly known, was born on June 6, 1914 in Mangalapuram village in the Krishna district of AP He joined the Communist Party of India in 1931.  Rao was elected to the Andhra provincial committee of CPI at the second provincial conference held in 1938 in Vijayawada. He was elected secretary of the provincial party at its third conference, held again at Vijayawada in 1943.  After the split of the party (which Rao tried hard to stop) in 1964, giving birth to the CPI(M), Rao was elected general secretary of the residual CPI - a post which he held for 28 years.  He gave up his post in the national council meeting on April 20, 1990 on health grounds. He quit all the elective posts that he held in 1992 and died on April 9, 1994 Puchalapalli Sundarayya was a founding member of the CPI(M) and a leader of the peasant revolt against the Nizam of Hyderabad. Sundarayya was born on May 1, 1913 in Alaganipadu (present day Vidavalur Mandal of Kovur Constituency) in Nellore district. When the CPI split, in October–November 1964, Sundarayya was elected as the General Secretary of the CPI(M). Sundarayya remained the Party’s General Secretary until 1976. In that year, he decided to resign from his post as the Party's General Secretary and gave up his Politburo membership. He died on 19 May 1985 at the age of 72. Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy who is the current general secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) was elected to the post on March 31, 2012 in the 21st party Congress held in Hyderabad. He is also a former MP from the Nalgonda constituency of Telangana. Yechury was born in a Telugu speaking Brahmin family in Chennai on August 12, 1952.  Currently a member of the Rajya Sabha, Yechury has been a member of the CPI-M's Central Committee since 1984 and the politburo since 1992. Yechury was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2005. He served on various parliamentary committees and was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2011. Yechury also introduced a 16-member politburo at the meeting of the new Central Committee on the last day of the party's 21st Congress in Visakhapatnam. The four new politburo members are Mohammed Saleem, Subhasini Ali, Hannan Mollah and G. Ramakrishnan.

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