Sitaram Yechury
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat with CPI-M leaders Sitaram Yechury and Manik Sarkar during party`s national conference in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on April 18, 2015.IANS

The Communist Party of India-Marxist on Sunday unanimously elected Sitaram Yechury as the new general secretary of the party.

At the meeting of the new Central Committee (CC) on the last day of the party's 21st Congress, outgoing general secretary Prakash Karat proposed Yechury's name and S. Ramchandran Pillai seconded it. The 91-member CC unanimously approved it.

The election of 62-year-old Yechury came after Pillai, who was reportedly in the fray for the top party post, withdrew, ensuring that the party continued its tradition of electing its leader unanimously.

Prakash Karat later made the formal announcement before the media. Yechury, who termed the new task as challenging, introduced the 16-member politburo.

The four new politburo members are Mohammed Saleem, Subhashini Ali, Hannan Mollah and G. Ramakrishnan.

Subhashini Ali is the second woman in the politburo after Brinda Karat.

The politburo members are Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, S. Ramchandran Pillai, Biman Basu, Manik Sarkar, Pinyarayi Vijayan, B.V. Raghavulu, K. Balakrishnan, M.A. Baby, S.K. Mishra, A.K. Padmanabhan, Mohammed Saleem, Subhashini Ali, Hannan Mollah and G. Ramakrishnan.

Earlier, the Congress elected the new CC. It approved the names finalised by the outgoing politburo on Saturday night. This was followed by the election of the new politburo and the general secretary by the CC.

Apart from 91 members, the CC has five special invitees and five permanent invitees.