People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 01

January 04, 2004


CPI(M)’S Rashtra Rakshana Bheri

  M Venugopala Rao


THE CPI(M) in Andhra Pradesh conducted Rashtra Rakshana Bheri (campaign for defending the state), an extensive political campaign in the state with the objective of propagating the need to save the state by defeating the TDP-BJP combine in the forthcoming elections to the state assembly.  Jathas led by the Party’s leaders were taken out from five centres in the state on December 16 and 17, and after covering all the districts they culminated in Hyderabad on December 24 with a colourful rally and a public meeting.


During the vigorous campaign all over the state, leaders and cadres of the Party explained to the people the misrule of both the TDP government in the state and the BJP-led NDA government at the centre, and the consequent need for defeating the TDP-BJP combine at the forthcoming hustings. They also explained the need for avoiding split in the votes of the people opposing the TDP-BJP combine and the responsibility of the opposition parties, as well as the people, in ensuring the same to achieve the political objective.


The CPI(M) leaders and cadres also explained to the people how the Chandrababu Naidu government was behaving like a slave of the World Bank, agreeing to and implementing its conditionalities and their disastrous consequences, which are extremely detrimental to  larger public interest.


Among the issues covered during the political campaign included negligence and failures of the Naidu government in the fields of irrigation, power, employment generation, industrialisation etc., rampant corruption manifesting in the umpteen scandals of the central and state governments. The campaign also focussed how the central and state governments engulfed the economy in a crisis through their reform process, disinvestment and privatisation of the central and state public sector units and cooperative mills, rendering thousands of workers and employees jobless. 


They asked the people to ponder over the deliberate mischief of the Naidu government in advancing the elections, laying foundation stones and announcing pre-election sops with a view to cheating the people, while continuing to resort to repressive measures on their struggles on various issues.


On December 16, the campaign jatha, led by K Santha Rao, state committee member of the CPI(M), was inaugurated at Nellore by the state secretary of the Party, B V Raghavulu, in which Jakka Venkaiah, district committee secretary and a member of the central committee,  participated. The jatha covered Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts before reaching Hyderabad. On the same day, the campaign jatha, led by P Jamalayya, state committee member of the Party, and P V Srinivas, state secretary of DYFI, was inaugurated by Ch  Narasinga Rao, state secretariat member of the CPI(M), at Sompet in Srikakulam district, in which Choudary Tejeswara Rao, district committee secretary of the Party participated.  The jatha covered Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Khammam and Nalgonda districts.  On December 17,  the campaign jatha, led by  Bhupal and V Venkateswarlu, was inaugurated at Tirupati by M A Gafoor, state secretariat member of the CPI(M), in which the district secretary of the Party, Kandarapu Murali, participated. The jatha covered Chittoor, Cuddapah, Anantapur, Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts. The campaign jatha, led by S Veeraiah, state committee member of the Party, was inaugurated in Hyderabad by Thammineni Veerabhadram, central committee member of the CPI(M),  in which secretary of the Hyderabad city committee of the Party, P S N Murthy, participated. This jatha covered Medak and  Rangareddy  districts.  K Krishna Murthy,  state committee member of the Party, inaugurated the campaign jatha at Adilabad  which was led by state committee members of the Party, P Ramulu and Bhaskar, in which the district committee secretary of the Party, Lanka Raghavulu,  participated. This jatha covered Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Nalgonda districts. The people, followers and sympathisers of the CPI(M) everywhere received the leaders and jathas with special warmth and enthusiasm.   They heard the leaders with rapt attention.




To mark the conclusion of the Raashtra Rakshana Bheri,  a massive and colourful rally was taken out from Secunderabad to Sundarayya Park at Baghlingampally where a public meeting was held. Raghavulu, P Madhu, state secretariat member of the Party and other leaders who led the jathas were in the forefront of the rally.


One of the special attractions of the rally was a fleet of decorated vehicles exposing the corrupt rule of the Naidu government, the plight of farmers, encouragement to consumption of liquor, lop-sided priorities and deteriorating law and order situation in the state with people being jailed and tortured. Artists of Praja Natya Mandali who were playing dappus and singing songs accompanied these vehicles. Two persons who were attired as demons of corruption drew a lot of attention.  Women along with their kids constituted a substantial chunk in the rally, which attracted the people on both sides of the busy thoroughfares through which it passed.


The flags of campaign jathas brought from different centres were received at the venue of the public meeting by Koratala Satyanarayana,  CPI(M) Polit Bureau member,  B V Raghavulu,  M V Narasimha Reddy and Mallu Swarajyam, central committee members of the Party and M A Gafoor. 


Addressing the public meeting, the leaders appealed to the people to defeat the anti-people  TDP-BJP combine in the coming elections and save the state.


Koratala, who presided over the meeting, ridiculed the claims of the caretaker chief minister, Chandrababu Naidu, that the advancement of elections was sought because of the naxalites and the opposition parties. Blasting the allegation of Chandrababu Naidu that the opposition parties were in collusion with the naxalites, Koratala challenged the CM to show evidence, if any, to substantiate his charge. 


Explaining  the plight of the people under the TDP misrule, Raghavulu said 3,000 farmers committed suicide during the last six years in the state, with the disastrous  reforms in the  power sector being one of the contributory factors.  Though the Naidu government took loans to the tune of about Rs 45,000 crore, not even a single major irrigation project was completed.   The Chandrababu government was giving a matching grant of Rs 400 crore to the women of DWCRA groups, on the one  hand, and extracting a sum of Rs 2400 crore from their families in the form of taxes on liquor, on the other,  Raghavulu said.  Despite the government’s claims on the progress achieved in literacy, Andhra Pradesh is still lagging behind other states in the country, placed as it is in the 22nd rank.  The BJP-led government in the centre was continuing only because of the opportunistic support lent to it by the TDP, Raghavulu said.  He asked why the BJP, which was now agitating on the issues of water and land, had turned a blind eye towards those issues during the last five years. During the recent elections, the Congress was defeated in three states simply because its governments there had implemented the same economic policies that were being followed by the Naidu government in AP, Raghavulu said and asked the Congress to make its stand clear on the economic policies it would pursue in the state if it comes to power.    Instead of quarrelling on forging electoral alliances, the opposition parties should concentrate on avoiding split in pro-opposition votes by preventing mutual contests in constituencies, he  said. However, he also pointed out that the Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi were not moving in that direction.


M V Narasimha Reddy said Chandrababu was not paying heed to the fact that the state could not be developed without solving the problems of land and water. Drip and sprinkler irrigation were no solution to wet cultivation, he said and underlined the need for creating requisite irrigation potential in the state. As a result of the misrule of the Chandrababu government, not only the farmers but also those who were running cottage industries were committing suicide, Narasimha Reddy explained.


Mallu Swarajyam accused Chandrababu of mortgaging the self-respect and integrity of the Andhra people to the World Bank.  She said Chandrababu did not belong to the Andhra nation, but to the exploiting class in the world. 


M A Gafoor said the women themselves would lay the Naidu government to rest in the forthcoming elections. He accused Chandrababu as an opportunist who turned the Nelson’s eye towards the massacre of the minorities in Gujarat. Gafoor criticised that Naidu was behaving like a dictator and suppressing people’s movements in the state.