People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 29, 2007
CPI(M) AP State Secretary Arrested While Proceeding For Dharna
B V Raghavulu, secretary of CPI(M) Andhra Pradesh state committee was taken into police custody along with several arty and CITU leaders on April 13 at Hyderabad. Raghavulu along with others was proceeding towards Andhra Pradesh secretariat to participate in a dharna in front of Secretariat.
The police did not allow them to hold the dharna which was called upon in support of the strike by village servants, who were going on in the state from March 23. The village servants have been demanding increase in their wage to Rs 3000 per month from the present Rs 1200. They are also asking the government to recognise them as IV class employees, to increase their Dearness Allowance and to promote the eligible among them to the post of village secretary. All these demands were totally supported by chief minister Y S Rajashakar Reddy when he was opposition leader. He also made a promise that if his party comes into power it will accept all the demands.
Village servant’s made several representatives, conducted many agitations after the formation of Congress government, all in vain. The chief minister did not keep up his promise. Eighty per cent of the village servants are dalits. Living with a very meagre wage of Rs 1200 per month is highly impossible but still the government has taken an adamant stand not to concede their just demands.
As the government was continuing with it obstinate stand, CPI(M) had given the call for dharna in front of the secretariat in support of village servants. Raghavulu told reporters while he was being arrested that the state government attitude also exposed how discriminating it was against dalits. ‘If the chief minister has any sympathy for dalits he should accept the demands of village servants’, he said. He also cautioned that if government thinks that it will suppress the agitation with an iron hand, the CPI(M) will not allow that and it will intensify the agitation. He further called upon the people to raise this issue with ministers, MLAs when they tour the districts.