Sitaram Yechury is an Indian politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M). He is currently a member of Rajya Sabha and is famously known as one of the prominent leaders of the opposition party. He was elected as the General Secretary of CPI-M on 19th April 2015. Yechury is the parliamentary group leader of the CPI-M and a politburo member of the party. He is a celebrated columnist, an economist and a social worker.
Sitaram Yechury was born on 12th August 1952 in Madras (now Chennai) in a Telugu speaking Brahmin family. His father, Sarveswara Somayajula Yechury, was an Andhra Pradesh State Road Corporation Engineer and his mother, Kalpakam Yechury, was a government officer. Sitaram Yechury spent his childhood in Hyderabad. Sitaram Yechury did his matriculation from All Saints High School in Hyderabad. He came to Delhi following the Telangana Agitation of 1969 and got admitted into Presidents Estate School. Owing to his exceptional academic acumen, Yechury got all India first class first in CBSE Higher Secondary Examination in 1970. He joined the reputed St. Stephens College of Delhi University and did his B.A. (Hons.) in Economics from there. Yechury then obtained a master's degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
Sitaram Yechury stepped into the Indian political arena in 1974 when he became a member of the Students Federation of India (SFI). He joined the ranks of the Communist Party of India - Marxist in 1975 when he was still a student at Jawaharlal University in Delhi. Yechury was amongst many who were arrested during the Emergency imposed in 1975 by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. He also pursued a Ph.D in Economics from JNU, however, he could not continue it because of being arrested during the Emergency of 1975-1977. Sitaram Yechury was elected the President of JNU Student's Union thrice in one year after his release from jail following the removal of the Emergency in 1977. Sitaram Yechury and the former General Secretary of the CPI-M Prakash Karat made JNU a leftist stronghold. Yechury was elected as the General Secretary of the SFI and later was appointed as its President in 1978. Yechury became a member of the CPI-M Central Committee in 1984. Two years later, he parted his ways with the SFI. At the 14th congress of the CPI-M, Sitaram Yechury was elected as the party politburo in 1992. Yechury was instrumental, along with former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, in drafting the 'Common Minimum Programme' in 1996 for the United Front Government. He also played a significant part in building a coalition process to be a part of the UPA government in 2004.
Sitaram Yechury was first elected to the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of the Parliament) from West Bengal in 2005. He has been a noted figure of the Upper House ever since by having brought issues of common interest and public welfare to the fore and by frequently disrupting the ruling governments over a number of issues over the years. In his political career, he has held several positions. After being elected to Rajya Sabha on 25 Sept. 2005 , in 2006 he became the Member of Committee on Home Affairs (13 April 2006-May 2009). From Aug. 2010 onwards he was appointed as the Chairman, Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture 13 April 2006 onwards Member, General Purposes Committee May 2006-May 2009. Other positions he held were Member, Parliamentary Forum on Population and Public Health June 2006 onwards; Member, Committe on Ethics June 2006 - Sept. 2007; Member, Business Advisory Committee Aug. 2006-Dec. 2008; Member, Joint Committee to examine the constitutional and legal position relating to Office of Profit Sept. 2006 onwards; Member, Committee of Privileges May 2009 - May 2012; Member, Court of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Aug. 2009 onwards; Member, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Installation of Portraits/ Statues of National Leaders and Parliamentarians in Parliament House Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of External Affairs July 2010 onwards Member, Indian Council of World Affairs March 2011 onwards Member, JPC to examine matters relating to allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum Aug. 2011 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha Aug. 2012 Chairman, Committee on Agriculture
Yechury is often criticised by the government for causing regular disruptions; however, he hails it as his democratic right. His current term as a member of the Rajya Sabha is from 19 August 2011 until 18 August 2017. 19 April 2015 came to be known as the day on which Sitaram Yechury was unanimously elected as the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of India - Marxist at the 21st party congress held in Visakhapatnam. He succeeded Prakash Karat. Sitaram Yechury and his fellow politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai were the contenders for the coveted position; however, the latter pulled out and Yechury rose to the position of Party General Secretary. Yechury is married to journalist Seema Chisti Yechury. She is the Resident Editor of Indian Express and was formerly the Delhi Editor of BBC Hindi. Sitaram Yechury has a son with Seema Chisti Yechury. Sitaram Yechury's first wife was the daughter of the famous Left-Wing activist Vina Mazumdar. Akhila Yechury, his daughter, is a professor of History and teaches at the University of St. Andrews and she was a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.