People's Democracy

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


No. 07

February 12, 2012




Massive Rally in Khammam

N S Arjun


THOSE who had claimed that CPI(M) had been cut to size in Khammam district post 2009 elections were in for a rude shock. A sea of humanity descended on the town, drenching it in red. Around 2 lakh people, mainly from Khammam district, marched in a massive rally marking the successful conclusion of 23rd state conference of the Party on February 4.


Thousands of tribals of the district, attired in traditional gear, displaying their bows and arrows and dancing gaily to the drum beats, were an attractive sight. Actually thousands of performing artistes from across the state took part in the rallies displaying their skills in various types of arts. Also attracting everyone's attention were hundreds of red shirt volunteers displaying their martial arts skills. Workers, agricultural labour, women, youth, employees formed the bulk of rallyists. The streets reverberated with thundering slogans claiming Socialism is the only Alternative.


Three rallies from different parts of the town converged at the public meeting venue, Sardar Patel stadium, rechristened Jyoti Basu Nagar. The rally from Naya Bazar was led by newly re-elected state secretary B V Raghavulu, Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury and Central Committee member Thammineni Veerabhadram. They traveled to the meeting venue atop an open top jeep waving to the crowds en route. More than half of the audience had to listen to the speeches sitting on the roads as the entire stadium was filled up with crowds much before the public meeting began.


So nervous was the ruling regime about the huge turnout and the public meeting that the police removed the loudspeakers kept at some distance away from the venue to enable locals to hear the speeches. They also ordered the local cable televisions to stop the live coverage of the rally and the public meeting. Reacting angrily to this, Raghavulu in his speech said that this shows how fearful the government is about the voice of the CPI(M) and warned that no amount of repression will suppress the voice of the people. He said the CPI(M)-led struggles in the coming period will show to the government the power of the people. He lambasted the Congress party for ruining the state with its internal bickering and careless attitude to the issue of division of state. He assured the gathering that CPI(M) will do everything possible to bring people's issues on to the agenda of politics in the state.


Referring to reports about the state government’s intention to raise power tariff in the coming period to collect over Rs 5000 crore, Raghavulu warned that the state will be engulfed in a fireball if it went ahead. The CPI(M) and the Left parties will unleash a more powerful movement than in 2000 if the government went ahead, he said. He chastised the ministers for doubling their salaries to over Rs 2 lakh per month even while stubbornly refusing the meagre wage hike demand of striking junior doctors in the state. He appealed to CPI and other Left parties in the state to ignore the minor differences among the parties and join for a strong united movement against the neo-liberal policies of the state and central governments. In the process the Left unity would also be strengthened.


About electoral adjustments with bourgeois parties, Raghavulu told the gathering that the Party is not thinking about it now and will consider only during elections. He appealed to the opposition parties not to obstruct the upcoming session of state assembly with frivolous, personal tirades against the government. Instead they must cooperate in bringing the people’s issues on to the agenda, he said.


CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said that the Party in Andhra Pradesh has been leading many militant struggles concerning various sections of peoplefarmers, dalits, workers, urban poor, land struggle etc braving repression. He mentioned about the martyrs of Mudigonda in this district and said that the Party has decided to take the same path of militant struggles all over the country.We have decided to work towards building a Left and democratic alternative to the bourgeois parties all of who pursue neo-liberal policies.He appealed to the people of AP to participate in the struggles to be launched by CPI(M) in large numbers. He expressed confidence that CPI(M) will emerge as a key force in the state in the coming period.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury took a dig at Manmohan Singh government saying that they may in near future need to hold their cabinet meetings in Tihar jail. He said that home minister P Chidambaram had cancelled all his appointments for the day and anxiously waited to know whether Supreme Court would send him also to Tihar. Luckily for him, the court gave an order that spared him. He said the huge turnout at the meeting showed that the people of Khammam are with the CPI(M) and he assured that the Party will remain with them in the struggles to improve their lives. “Many media persons and others keep asking me with which party will you ally. Let me state from this dais, we will ally with people not parties. We will increase the unity among people and bring them into struggles”, said Yechury.


Thammineni Veerabhadram, who presided over the public meeting, said that the gathering was much larger than what was expected. He asked the Congress leaders not to panic and resort to such repressive measures as to cut TV coverage. He thanked all those who helped in making the state conference a big success.


Among those who addressed the public meeting included central committee members Paturi Ramaiah, Mallu Swarajyam, M A Gafoor and newly elected state secretariat member Dr M Babu Rao, CPI(M) MLA J Ranga Reddy and district Party secretary Sudershan. Central committee member K Hemalata and other state secretariat members were present on the dais.




Earlier, the state conference unanimously elected an 81 member new state committee. The new state committee, which met briefly at the venue, re-elected B V Raghavulu as Party state secretary. A 15-member state secretariat was also elected. V Srinivasa Rao, who is discharging the responsibilities at the all India centre and Jakka Venkaiah, who is in an advanced age, were relieved and in their place former MP and Girijana Sangham general secretary Dr M Babu Rao and Medak district Party secretary Chukka Ramulu were inducted into the secretariat. A three member state control commission was also elected by the delegates which then met and elected B R Tulasi Rao as its chairman. The conference also elected 41 delegates and 4 alternate delegates to the 20th Party Congress to be held in Kozhikode from April 4 to 9.


(Detailed report of the conference will be published next week)