Succession woes in CPI: Sudhakar Reddy wants to step down but who will succeed him?

New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (CPI) General Secretary, Sudhakar Reddy, wants to step down from the post citing failing health issues. He had requested the CPI Central Secretariat and National Executive to relive him from the party post. After more than two weeks of deliberations the party has still not able to decide his successor.

Sudhakar Reddy’s decision to quit comes two years before his term officially ends. The CPI National Council, the party’s highest decision making body, must find a successor by next week.

Reddy favours the Central Secretariat member and Lok Sabha member D Raja to succeed him. Many leaders also support D Raja due to his experience in national politics.

But the CPI leaders from Kerala, where the party is the most organized and active, do not favour Raja. Instead they want Amarjeet Kaur the AITUC general secretary from Punjab to succeed Reddy.

As consensus, the name of Atul Kumar Anjan and K. Narayana are also coming up. Rajya Sabha member Binoy Viswam also is doing the rounds but he has categorically said that  he is not interested to take the reins of the party at this juncture.

If a leader is not decided upon and if the consensus attempts fail then Sudhakar Reddy will be forced to continue at his post till the party congress meet.

CPI’s dismal performance at the Lok Sabha elections speak volumes about the present situation of the communist party. The party had to contend with just 2 seats at the Lok Sabha while CPI(M) bagged only 3.

Some political analysts say that Reddy’s decision to quit must be seen as an aftermath of the poor performance of the party. CPI failed to attract voters with their anti India stand on many issues including their support to students who raised slogans against India at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The party also made Kanhaiya Kumar, the leader of the anti-India forces at JNU, candidate from Begusarai to take on BJP’s heavy weight Giriraj Singh.

These kinds of policy decisions has failed the party to connect with the people of the country and as a result the party could not win in more than 2 seats.

The communist party’s crisis mirrors another succession crisis being played out in the Congress party with Rahul Gandhi deciding to quit and the party failing to find a suitable successor.


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