Maoist rebels get new boss; bomb expert Basvaraj who plots terror attacks

Nambala Keshav Rao alias Vasavaraju, who headed the clandestine outfit’s central military commission, has taken charge as the new general secretary.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2018 12:09 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Maoist chief steps down,Maoist chief,Maoist chief Ganapathy
The file picture shows a gathering of Maoists during the CPI (Maoist)’s Ninth Congress in an undisclosed place in Chhattisgarh. (PTI File Photo)

Muppala Laxmana Rao alias Ganapathy, who led the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) since its inception in 2004, has stepped down due to health and age-related issues, the rebel outfit has announced.

Nambala Keshav Rao alias Vasavaraju, who headed the clandestine outfit’s central military commission, has taken charge as the new general secretary.

“In the light of his failing health, the general secretary offered to voluntarily step down to strengthen the central committee. The decision was approved during the fifth meeting of the central committee and Vasavaraju has been elected in his position,” the two-page statement signed by Abhay, the spokesperson of the central committee, said.

The statement is dated November 10.

Ganapathy is about 70 years old and Vasavaraju is in his early 60s.

Ganapathy, a former school teacher, joined the Maoist movement during the early 1970s and became the head of the erstwhile Andhra-based CPI(Marxist-Leninist) (People’s War) in 1992.

He continued in this position after this group merged with the erstwhile Bihar-based CPI(Marxist-Leninist) (Party-Unity) in 1998 and the unified CPI(ML)(PW) merged with the Bihar-based Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) in 2004 to form CPI (Maoist).

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The outfit had decided during the fourth meeting of its central committee held in 2017 that “the comrades of physical and mental limitations must demonstrate revolutionary consciousness in identifying their limitations and voluntarily step out of their committees and come forward to take up responsibilities that they can do justice. The central and the state leadership must establish such an ideal in the party through their (own) practice.”

Ganapathy offered to set an example by starting the practice at the highest level, following this decision.

“The change in the central committee is part of the development of the whole party,” this new statement, too, said.

An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer posted in Bastar said the bloodbath is likely to increase as the role of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) will increase in the region.

“Vasavaraju was heading the organisation for the last six months but now they have officially taken the decision. Vasavaraju is more aggressive than Ganapathy because he came from the military unit of the Maoists,” the officer said.

Also Read: 2 Chhattisgarh police personnel, 9 Maoists killed in an encounter in Sukma

First Published: Nov 28, 2018 10:55 IST