Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao has been elected as Telangana state secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI).
The former MLA was elected after a fierce contest between two contenders for the post. The result was announced after the late night election during the state conference held at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
While unanimous election of the new secretary was expected, a contest became inevitable after both Sambasiva Rao and Palla Venkat Reddy staking claim. In the election held amid high drama, Sambasiva Rao polled 59 votes while Venkat Reddy secured 45 votes.
A former MLA from Kothagudem, Sambasiva Rao was serving as the assistant in the previous state committee.
After formation of Telangana in 2014, Chada Venkat Reddy served as the state secretary for two terms. As per the party rules, a leader can hold the post for three terms. He was keen to continue as secretary for a third term. However, Sambasiva Rao insisted that he may be given a chance this time.
Chada Venkata Reddy had expressed his view that he would accept the responsibility for the third time only if he was elected unanimously. He declared that in case of a contest, he would withdraw from the race.
Another party leader Palla Venkat Reddy also staked claim for the post, making a contest inevitable. Chada Venkat Reddy reportedly backed the candidature of Palla Venkat Reddy. This made the contest interesting. However, Sambasiva Rao emerged victorious in the keenly contested battle with a majority of 14 votes.
The CPI recently announced its support to ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the upcoming by-election to Munugode Assembly. Following CPI’s decision, the CPI-M also extended support to TRS.
Both the left parties have hailed TRS leader and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s decision to unite all secular and democratic forces to take on BJP at the national level.