CPI (M) might become militaristic with new general secretary

Nov 29, 2018, 18:55 IST | Suraj Ojha

It was reported that the Naxal leader Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy, who has a Rs 2.5 crore bounty on his head, was suffering from liver problems and had to be carried around

CPI (M) might become militaristic with new general secretary
Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy (left) and Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavaraju

Following the announcement of Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavaraju, 61, as the new CPI (Maoist) general secretary, state intelligence officials feel the banned outfit might become more militaristic in the future with the change of guard.

Basavaraju took over from Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy, 71, according to a statement dated November 10, and released on Wednesday. Sources said that for the past several months, there has been speculation in Bastar and Gadchiroli about Ganpathy's failing health. It was reported that the Naxal leader, who has a Rs 2.5 crore bounty on his head, was suffering from liver problems and had to be carried around.

According to sources from the intelligence department, Basavaraju has served as the chief of the outfit's Central Military Commission (CMC) for over 30 years. He is known for being an expert in explosives and military tactics. The new general secretary, however, has been underground for the last 28 years. Little is known about his past except that he graduated from the Regional Engineering College (REC) in Warangal, now renamed the National Institute of Technology (NIT). In his student days, he was often arrested in Srikakulam for participating in agitations and protests.

An officer said, "Last year, the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army faced a major loss. The Maoists needed a new thought process. Naxalism was under the threat of being wiped out; over 240 Naxals were gunned down in one year. There was huge collateral damage; Naxals have failed tactically too. Now, they've decided to have a neck and neck fight, for which military operations will take place."

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