4th State Conference of CPI(ML)
in Andhra Pradesh

Delegates at Andhra Party Conference

THE 4th CPI(ML) State Conference of Andhra Pradesh was held successfully on 7-9 November at Vinod Mishra Nagar (Vijaywada). The open session of the Conference was held in the form of a massive rally which was an all time record in Andhra by our Party. It was also the largest Left mobilisation in the state since the Congress came to power. The rally started at 2 PM on 7 November from Gymkhana grounds, which was led by Party General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya along with Polit Bureau members DP Buxi and Nand Kishor Prasad and Central Committee members B Sivaraman, N Murthy and B Bangar Rao. The colourful rally, with cultural troops at the front, passed through important places of the city and returned back to the Gymkhana where a public meeting was held.

The delegate session started on 8 November after the Flag Hoisting by veteran comrade K. Venkatanarayana. 152 delegates participated in the Conference. The work report was presented by N. Murthy before the Conference. Delegates actively participated in the discussions and adopted the report along with resolutions for steady expanded party work in the days to come.

The Conference noted that the agrarian crisis was deepening, resulting in continued farmers’ suicides, chronic poverty and unemployment engulfing rural Andhra, particularly poor adivasis, agrarian labourers and poor peasants. The people of Andhra gave a befitting blow to Chandrababu Naidu’s hypocrisy. And, now, the Congress regime, true to its character, took no time to invite mass-anger for its betrayal to the people’s verdict. The Conference resolved to mobilise, organise and lead the people’s movement to a new height.

The Conference elected a 15-member State Committee with Comrade N. Murthy as Secretary. Comrade Nand Kishore Prasad presented the observation remarks as the Central Observer to the Conference while Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of the Party, addressed the concluding session and called upon the delegates to intensify the struggles for the land redistribution, various democratic issues significant to the people of Andhra Pradesh and against the policies resulting in farmers’ suicides in the state. q


We Must Boldly Champion the People’s Agenda of Land, Livelihood and Liberty!

(excerpts from Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya’s concluding address to the 4 th State Conference of the Party’s Andhra Pradesh unit)

I n this conference we have heard reports of our
recent expansion in West Godavari and Visakha districts and of further intensification of the struggle in East Godavari district. The SP of East Godavari district has released some figures regarding land ‘occupied’ by various ML organisations in the district. The list shows us at number one. We are proud of this allegation and we would now like to replicate the East Godavari experience in more districts of Andhra Pradesh. We would only like to point out that what government officials describe as occupation is actually liberation of land from illegal occupation. The government must be forced to recognise this reality.

In this context I would like to draw your attention to the ongoing talks between the PWG leadership and the Andhra government. No doubt the two sides have their own strategic calculations and political compulsions in embarking on this course. Manmohan Singh has recalled the negotiations held with the undivided CPI leadership in the wake of the great Telangana movement and how it helped in drawing the CPI into the ‘political mainstream’ and subsequently into political alliance with the Congress. In Andhra, it is open knowledge that the PWG had extended all cooperation to the Congress during the last elections and Manmohan Singh is certainly not wrong in hoping to draw the PWG out of the jungles and cultivate it as a potential political ally.

But while keeping our eyes and ears open about the pattern and progress of the ongoing negotiations, we must focus on the public agenda that both sides have been forced to address in the course of the talks. This agenda revolves around the three main questions of land, livelihood and liberty. The fate of this agenda cannot be left hostage to the future of the talks; revolutionary communists must emerge as courageous champions of this people’s agenda in the sphere of people’s struggle and force this agenda on the politics of the state.

Of course, the PWG is approaching this agenda with its characteristic traits of phrase-mongering and political opportunism. In Rayagada district of neighbouring Orissa, it seeks to belittle the significance of the land struggle being valiantly waged by our comrades by spreading the canard that while Liberation is only fighting for ceiling-surplus land, PWG is fighting for the redistribution of the entire land. And now here in Andhra where they should have highlighted their model of land struggle, they have only secured a commitment from the state government to appoint yet another committee to examine the availability of surplus land in the state! And when landless people rise in struggle to occupy the land that should belong to them, and the government warns the PWG against taking law into its own hands, a senior PWG ideologue tells us that the red flags pitched on such plots are only meant to identify the land and the rest is for the government to do!

But regardless of what the PWG and the state government may or may not do, the very fact that the government is now going in for another committee is an admission of the reality that land reforms have not been accomplished in the state. Of course, we must remember that formation of such committees is a standard government technique to deceive the people while once again delaying and diluting the whole question. Unleashing the people’s initiative can be the only decisive way of making any meaningful progress on this front.

On the question of livelihood, the PWG has merely raised the issue of certain projects involving WB funding. But the crucial issue of continuing farmers’ suicides, growing rural unemployment and non-implementation of the high-sounding promises made by the YSR government has not really been addressed. As our investigation into specific suicide cases has shown, the government remains as callous and unresponsive as ever. The change of guard in the state, the transition from Chandrababu’s Cyberabad to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratory, has produced absolutely no change on the ground, in the conditions of the debt-ridden farmer or the development-starved rural poor. The fury of the farmers and the rural poor that triggered the downfall of the Naidu government must now be squarely directed against the Congress governments in Hyderabad and New Delhi.

On the question of political liberty or democracy, the PWG is basically interested in getting some immediate relief for some affected individuals while allowing the state to get away with its history and structures of extra-judicial repression and killings. Andhra is one state where eminent civil liberty campaigners like Dr. Ramanadham and Purushottam have also had to pay with their lives for daring to oppose the state’s record of unmitigated terror. Securing punishment for at least some of the guilty police officials, dismantling of killer gangs like the Greyhounds, and effective withdrawal of all false cases, especially those under black laws like TADA and POTA must be central to any real campaign for restoration of democracy in the state. q