New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP D Raja has been elected as the new general secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) in place of incumbent S Sudhakar Reddy who resigned on health grounds, stated party sources.

The decision was taken by the party’s top decision-making body named CPI National Council during a meeting on Friday (July 19). Seventy-year-old Raja is a member of the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu.

The CPI national secretariat unanimously proposed Raja’s name during a meeting held on Thursday and Friday ahead of the National Council meeting, according to sources. The proposal was then analysed and ratified at the National Council meeting as formality, added the party sources.

Reddy who took charge as the CPI general secretary in 2012 was serving his third term this year. He resigned two years ahead of the completion of his current three-year term. This change in leadership takes place after CPI’s worst-ever performance in the Lok Sabha elections held this year.

The CPI managed to get only two seats in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls. Both the seats were from Tamil Nadu. Reddy was a member of the 12th and 14th Lok Sabha and represented the Nalgonda constituency of Telangana. He was elected to serve as a general secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) on March 31, 2012, in the 21st party Congress. Reddy has previously served as the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour while being a member of the Parliament.

(With Agency inputs)