People's Democracy

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


No. 17

April 25, 2004



Desperate TDP Tries All Tricks  

                                                       M Venugopala Rao


THE CPI(M) has been vigorously campaigning in various forms in Bhadrachalam Lok Sabha and 15 assembly constituencies from where its candidates filed their nominations in Andhra Pradesh.  The candidates, other leaders and workers of the CPI(M) and mass organisations have been conducting pada yatras, door to door campaign,  meeting the people, organising public meetings and  rallies. Apart from explaining the local problems, they have been convincing the people of the three-pronged approach of the CPI(M) on the need to defeat the TDP-BJP combine, strengthen the CPI(M) and the Left parties, and to avoid split in the pro-opposition votes and thus pave way for emergence of  a secular alternative both at the centre and in the state in the post-poll scenario. They have been explaining to the people the anti-people nature of the policy approaches of the TDP and BJP-led NDA governments, their failures in different fields, their corruption and misrule, increasing burdens on the people, suicides, starvation deaths of the farmers and other poor people, the misery of different sections of the people, and the danger posed by communalism to the unity of the people and integrity of the country.  Different sections of the people everywhere are receiving the candidates of the CPI(M) with enthusiasm and affection, and extending their support.



 This time a striking factor was the emergence of dissidence and revolt within the BJP-TDP combine on a much larger scale, far exceeding that in the TRS and Congress, notwithstanding the claims of the former that they are disciplined parties with a strong leadership.  Both the TDP and BJP are facing rebel candidates in a number of constituencies against their official candidates.  That the TDP supremo, N Chandrababu Naidu, despite all his cajoling, persuasion and warnings, could not prevent dissidence and revolt within the party and filing of nominations by rebel candidates, is indicative of the alarming situation within the party and how thickly the greed for power and its spoils and corruption have engulfed the party.  The TDP leadership is desperately adopting all means to win the elections by hook or crook, by giving its tickets to the candidates who defected from other parties at the last minute and candidates with criminal background, with money power as the criterion, while preaching high morals to the people to defeat defectors and push out criminal elements from politics. Many important district leaders of TDP were caught red-handed while carrying bundles of rupee notes in gunny bags for buying votes. In Khammam, one such vehicle was chased by the CPI(M) cadre in a car and the police had to arrest the TDP leaders. Huge stocks of liquor were also recovered in many places from TDP leaders possession. Clearly, their desperation was being expressed in these attempts to corrupt democracy.


Another desperate attempt of the TDP is to hoodwink the people and outwit the opposition parties through its propaganda blitzkreig by giving advertisements worth crores of rupees and organising live telecast of its programmes in the electronic media and spinnig cock and bull stories  in the media to create a false impression that it is going to win at the hustings.   It has given advertisements worth Rs 1.70 crore to one prominent weekly, which, in turn, has brought out a survey to the effect that the TDP is going to win the elections!  Such devious attempts will recur in the coming days.  The TDP-BJP combine will leave no stone unturned, including  money, liquor, power  and  official machinery,  to win the elections.  Above all, it is trying to take advantage of splits and dissidence in the opposition parties by enticing defections from other parties.  It is  encouraging and lending all kinds of support to rebel candidates, who have the potential to spoil the chances of victory of the opposition candidates. 



 Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), asserted that after the elections formation of secular governments, both at the centre and in the state, was certain and that it would be difficult to form such alternate governments without the support of the Left.  For three days, from April 12-14, Yechury participated in election campaign in support of some of the candidates of the CPI(M) in Khammam, Nalgonda and Medak districts.  Along with the candidates and other leaders, he participated in road shows, rallies,  public meetings and other programmes, including press conferences,  organised during the three days at several places.  Everywhere different sections of people enthusiastically participated in the campaign programmes and positively responded to the three-pronged approach of the CPI(M) articulated during the campaign and extended their support.  Sitaram Yechury campaigned at Vyra and Madhira towns in Khammam district, at Nakrekal, Tipparthi and Nalgonda in Nalgonda district and at Sangareddy and Ramachandrapuram in Medak district. 


Speaking at a public meeting at Vyra, Yechury explained the rationale behind the CPI(M) coming to seat adjustments with the Congress in the present elections.  He made it clear that the BJP-led NDA had become extremely dangerous to the unity and integrity of the country, communal harmony and law and order and that under its five-year misrule, unemployment increased in the country and 9 lakh workers lost their jobs with closure of industries, and 90 lakh farmers had become bankrupt unable to get water for cultivation and remunerative prices to their agricultural produce.  The CPI(M) had made it clear long back that it was impossible to usher in Swarnandhra Pradesh with the kind of policies being implemented by the Chandrababu Naidu government under the tutelage of the World Bank, as a result of which Andhra Pradesh is now trapped in the quagmire of  heavy indebtedness.  Umpteen scams, rampant corruption and bankrupt economic policies had resulted in all-round deterioration in the country and the state, Yechury explained.  Realising the stark realities, the people should come forward to inflict a crushing defeat on the BJP-led government at the centre and the TDP government in the state, and elect the CPI(M) candidate, Katta Venkata Narsayya in Madhira constituency, and the Congress candidate, Renuka Chowdary from the Khammam Lok Sabha constituency, Yechury appealed.


Addressing the  media  at Khammam, Nalgonda and Nakrekal, he explained that the election campaign conducted so far and several poll surveys had made it clear that the strength of the NDA had decreased  and that that was the reason why the BJP was raking up the Mandir issue again with a view to diverting the attention of the people from its failures and certainty of the  defeat of the NDA and its allies  at the hustings.  He pointed out that  the CPI(M) had questioned at more than 114 press conferences it held at several places in the country the hollowness of the false and misleading propaganda being carried out by the BJP and its NDA allies in the name of “India Shining” and “feel good factor”.   A third front would emerge in the post-poll scenerio and the CPI(M) would try its best to unite all the secular forces and help formation of an alternate government at the centre, Yechury said.


The central and state governments had failed in protecting the rights of minorities, Sitaram Yechury criticised.  Addressing a convention on “Attacks on minorities and  failures of the governments” organised by the ‘United Forum of the Muslim and Christian Minorities’ at Nakrekal, he lashed out at the Chandrababu government for extending support to  the communal BJP, without opposing the communal carnage in Gujarat.  Sitaram asked the people to teach a fitting lesson to these governments for all their misdeeds and failures, damaging the prestige and unity of the country and affecting equal rights of the minorities, by inflicting a crushing defeat  in the elections.  Reminding that the struggle for independence was conducted transcending barriers of religion, Sitaram underlined the imperative of achieving economic independence also and of uniting in a similar way to defeat the communal BJP.  Mallu Swarajyam, member of the central committee of the CPI(M), and Nomula Narsimhaiah, CPI(M) candidate contesting from Nakrekal constituency, also addressed the convention. 


Interacting with intellectuals at an informal get-together organised at Sangareddy, Sitaram Yechury explained the role played by the CPI(M) members in the Parliament in opposing privatisation,  in raising the issues of the people and safeguarding their interests and how the party organised and strengthened struggles of the people outside.  Replying to several questions raised by them, Sitaram explained that in a vast country like India, with different languages and cultures, the way was paved for formation of linguistic states after detailed deliberations.  Explaining why the CPI(M) is opposing formation of smaller states, Sitaram said the three smaller states formed three years back were depending on the centre for every requirement and as a result of their financial backwardness, development in those states was stagnating.  Backward areas should be developed by providing a special financial package and allotting required funds, he said.   Explaining the pro-people measures taken by the CPI(M)-led Left Front government in West Bengal in implementing land reforms,  and in decentralising powers and funds to the local bodies, Sitaram said those measures provided financial strength to the people and strengthened the mass base of the government.  Whatever loans the government was taking, it was using them for construction of projects and at the same time  it was not agreeing to the conditionalities of the World Bank, Sitaram explained.


Addressing the people at Lingampally cross roads and Patancheru, Sitaram came down heavily on the Chandrababu government for accepting the disastrous conditionalities of the World Bank and implementing anti-people policies. He appealed to the people to elect Chukka Ramulu, the CPI(M) candidate from Sangareddy constituency, for solving their problems.  S Veeraiah, state committee member of the Party, and Ramulu also addressed the people.  Sitaram also participated in a meeting organised on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar organised by BHEL Welfare Association of SCs. Sitaram said protecting the constitution framed by Dr Ambedkar  was the responsibility of one and all.




The elections this time are marked by unprecedented dissidence and conflicts of individual and group interests in all the parties of the ruling classes, with resignations of leaders and cadres, open revolt, filing of nominations against official candidates, arson and destruction of offices of parties as a reaction to denial of tickets of the parties to aspiring candidates.   Majority of the people want to get rid of the misrule of both the TDP and the BJP-led NDA governments.  However, the approaches of some of the parties are giving rise to doubts in the minds of the people whether the opposition parties move unitedly in tune with the feelings of the people to defeat the BJP-TDP combine.  The Left parties have been stressing on the imperative of defeating the BJP-TDP combine by avoiding mutual contests and split in the pro-opposition votes and trying their best in that direction from the beginning.  Having learnt bitter lessons from its refusal to win allies and have electoral adjustments with them in the 1999 elections and its failure to unseat the communal BJP from power, the Congress, this time, had decided to go for alliances and form a front with the Left parties and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the state.  With the CPI(M) refusing to have any alliance either with the Congress or with the TRS, the Congress was prepared to avoid mutual contests.  Unfortunately, the TRS has played a disruptive role harming the very political objective of defeating the TDP-BJP combine, by concentrating its criticism on the opposition parties from the beginning.  By demanding and getting a number of seats far exceeding its strength, the TRS has ignited dissidence within the Congress.  The TRS has gone to the extent of  putting up its candidates, in contravention to the adjustment it had with the Congress,  in all those constituencies in the Telangana area from where the Left parties are contesting and announced that its objective is to defeat the Communists! In some of the constituencies, the TRS has put up its official candidates against the candidates of the Congress also!  Knowing fully well that seat adjustments would take place, it has created false hopes among its followers by receiving applications from aspiring candidates for all the 107 constituencies in the Telangana area.  It has even issued Form ‘B’ to two candidates in the same constituency.  As a result of its wayward and devious approach, the TRS leadership has faced revolt from its followers and several dissidents are in the fray as rebel candidates.  As a result of all these unsavoury developments, making the very spirit of seat adjustment a mockery, the TRS leadership  has created a situation in which the people are doubting its sincerity in contributing to the defeat of the TDP-BJP combine.


The Congress, too, has invited dissidence, conflicts of group interests and revolt within the party, by not acting with a clear-cut understanding on adjustment of seats.  After the damage was done, Congress leadership was trying to make efforts to set right the situation at the eleventh hour.  Had the Congress acted firmly and in a principled manner with the TRS on adjustment of seats, it would have avoided the embarassing and counter-productive situation.




It would be foolish to think that the feelings of the vast majority of the common people, who want to defeat the TDP-BJP combine, would change because of these attempts of the combine.  B V Raghavulu, state secretary of the CPI(M), has made it clear that whether the wish of the people would be fulfilled would depend on the opposition parties correcting their approach and working unitedly. He appealed to the TRS to realise and correct its mistakes which were responsible for disunity and confusion among the opposition parties and withdraw its candidates from the electoral fray, put up against the candidates of other opposition parties contrary to the agreement, and come forward to work sincerely to defeat the TDP-BJP combine.  The Congress, too, has to solve its internal problems quickly and intensify its campaign against the TDP-BJP combine, which is trying to sidetrack the real problems of the people and bring forth irrelevant and unimportant issues and individual allegations with a view to covering up the  glaring failures in all fields of the governments at the centre and in the state.  Underlining the immediate task before the opposition parties, Raghavulu has asserted that all the real issues of the people and the failures of the governments should be made debatable points in the election campaign and the people be prepared to face the money power of   the TDP-BJP combine and defeat it.  Hoping that all the opposition parties would work in accordance with the present requirements, Raghavulu has warned that the people will not pardon those who act contrary to the immediate political objective.

(April 18, 2004)