D. Raja, Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu, appointed as the General Secretary of CPI. He becomes the first Dalit to occupy this position in a mainstream Communist party. He was the national secretary of the party from 1994 to 2019.
Doraisamy Raja known as D. Raja was born near Vellore, Tamil Nadu in 1949. Due to his socioeconomic status, he faced a lot of discrimination in his childhood. He completed his college education and B.ed from Tamil Nadu.
From his college days onwards he was very active in politics. When he was in G.T.M college Gudiyattam he worked with All India Students Federation, the student wing of CPI. Later, he became a part of All India Youth Federation, the youth wing of CPI. He was the state secretary of AIYF from 1985 to 1990. He became the National Secretary of CPI in 1994 and continued in that post till 2019.
He got elected to Rajya Sabha in 2007 from Tamil Nadu and was re-elected in 2013.
He held following positions in Parliament committees:
- Science and Technology
- Committee on Environment and Forests
- Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Joint Parliamentary Committee on Security Matters in Parliament House Complex
- Committee on Rules
- General Purposes Committee
- Parliamentary Forum on Global Warming and Climate Change
- Committee on Ethics
- Committee on Home Affairs Member
- Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
- Consultative Committee for the Ministry of External Affairs
- Joint Committee on Food Management in Parliament House Complex
- Select Committee to examine the Commercial Division of High Courts Bill
- Committee on Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)
- Sub-Committee to examine various provisions of the Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation), Second Bill
- Committee on Home Affairs, Committee on Health and Family Welfare etc.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Raja said, spoke about the current situation and said the country was going through a critical phase under the fascist regime of Narendra Modi.
“Left might have lost seats in Lok Sabha election and may have been reduced as a smaller force in Parliament, doesn’t mean our ideological or political influence has shrunk within the country. We are the hope for the people of this country,” he added.
“We will continue to fight the retrograde policies of this government. The BJP government may have won the electoral battle but not a social or political one. We want all Communist parties to come together. We will have to rework our strategies. That is what our parties are trying to do,” he added.
His wife Aniyamma (Annie Raja), is a vibrant Communist activist from Kannur, Kerala. She is the General Secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW). The couple has a daughter, named Aparajitha Raja, a research student at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
Raja is the writer of two books, ‘Dalit Question’, and ‘The Way Forward: Fight Against Unemployment, a booklet on unemployment’.