People's Democracy

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


No. 29

July 19, 2009

Comrade K Venkateswarlu


VETERAN trade unionist, former AP state secretary of CITU and present Party state control commission chairman Comrade Kondragunta Venkateswarlu passed away in Hyderabad on July 10, 2009. He was 75 years old. Comrade Venkateswarlu suffered a massive heart attack while undergoing treatment at a private hospital for fever.


As soon as news of Comrade Venkateswarlu's demise was known, CPI(M) state secreary B V Raghavulu, senior leaders of the Party and CITU rushed to the hospital and paid homage to the departed leader. Comrade Venkateswarlu's last remains were brought to the CITU state office on July 13 to enable the cadre and well wishers to pay their respects. A condolence meeting was held in which leaders of the Party, various mass organisations and fraternal bodies paid rich tributes to Comrade Venkateswarlu. Later, the body was taken in a big procession to the Amberpet grounds for cremation.


Born on July 1, 1934 in Veluru village in Guntur district, Comrade Kondragunta Venkateswarlu joined the path of struggles from his high school days itself. He participated in the Telangana armed struggle as a courier based in Narsaropet den. He underwent severe torture in the Palaniyappan police camp in Vijayawada, where he was brought after being arrested in a police raid on the Bellary den. He was taken to Vijayawada and then to Nellore where he was confined in the premises of an old factory. Despite his frail health after the severe beatings, and despite being guarded by an SI and few mufti policemen, Comrade Venkateswarlu made a daring escape in the early hours of the day. After running a long distance, he caught a train to Madras. From there he reached to his den in Bellary, where  the comrades nursed him back to good health. Comrade Venkateswarlu used to ferry Party literature to comrades fighting the armed struggle. His brother Comrade Kondragunta Ramulu became a martyr in the same Telangana armed struggle.


Comrade Venkateswarlu was in jail again during 1965-66 and 1975-77. He began working in trade union movement from 1960 onwards. He remained CITU state secretary till recently right from its inception in 1970. His role in building and developing movements of contract labour in government departments is widely recognised. He was also the all India office bearer of CITU. He was a member of CPI(M) central control commission from 2002 to 2004 and has been working as chairman of CPI(M) state control commission from 2005 onwards. Comrade Venkateswarlu has been member of the CPI(M) Andhra state committee since 1988. The CPI(M) state committee has condoled the death of Comrade Venkateswarlu and stated that it is a big loss to the communist and working class movement in the state.