Ganapathy steps down as CPI Maoist chief

Hyderabad: Ganapathy, the shadowy leader of armed leftist movement in India for almost 25 years, is no more the chief of the Communist Party of India-Maoist party.

According to the police and intelligence sources Ganapathy, 71-year-old leader, who was recently declared as the ‘Most Wanted’ by the Indian agencies, has stepped down from all the powerful post of the General Secretary of the organisation.

He decided to make way for the number two man in the organisation, Namballa Keshav Rao, alias Baswaraj, in view of his deteriorating health and advance age. Baswaraj was relatively young at 63.

Like Ganapthy, his successor also comes from Telugu states. Ganapathy, whose real name is Muppala Lakshman Rao, comes from Beerpur village of erstwhile Karimnagar district and Basavaraj hails from Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. Srikakulam was one of the earliest theatres of armed left wing struggle.

The change of leadership in CPI-Maoist party had become inevitable after the highest decision making body Central Committee had passed a resolution in February 2017 asking the senior leaders to step down in view of their advancing age.

The intelligence and police officials came to know about the change from a senior Maoist who had surrendered to the police in Chhattisgarh.

However, the change was unlikely to bring any relief to the authorities as Basavaraj was as wily and dangerous as his predecessor. He had a long experience in warfare and military strategy and headed the Military Commission of the organisation.

Ganapathy’s stepping down marks a landmark in the Maoist history. He had taken over the leadership in a coup against the People’s War Group founder general secretary Kondapalli Seetharamaiah in 1993 after which the ailing KS had surrendered to Andhra Pradesh police. Ganapathy had played a crucial role in merger of PWG with the MCC of Bihar to form a Pan-India CPI-Maoist.


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