People's Democracy

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


No. 28

July 15, 2012



Realignment of Political Forces

in the Offing: Manik Sarkar

N S Arjun


TRIPURA chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar has said that there is a  distinct possibility of realignment of political forces in the country after the presidential polls in view of the current situation where both the Congress and the BJP are losing ground in many states. He asserted that only Left and democratic forces, which have consistently fought against neo-liberal policies, can be the real alternative to Congress and BJP.


Sarkar was addressing a huge public meeting in Hyderabad on July 8, 2012 marking the successful conclusion of the 13th state conference of CITU Andhra Pradesh unit. A huge rally was taken out from Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, Baghlingampally to Indira Park, the venue of public meeting, which was rechristened as Comrade M K Pandhe Nagar.


Sarkar said the regional political parties that are emerging in the states can grow stronger only if they are really serious about solving people's problems instead of supporting neo-liberal policies and if they do not indulge in political opportunism. He said the country and its people are going through difficult times with spiralling price rise, agrarian distress, farmer suicides, faltering economy etc. The UPA government is steeped in unprecedented corruption involving lakhs of crores of rupees and this phenomenon is clearly a result of neo-liberal economic policies. Yet it is stubbornly refusing to provide any sort of relief to people in the form of universal PDS, remunerative procurement of crops etc.


The government, it appears, is only acting in favour of monopoly corporate houses, money-lenders, blackmarketeers etc and leaving the farmers, workers, agricultural labour in distress. With the prime minister taking over the responsibilities of finance ministry, there could be intensified attacks on the working class in the coming period, he felt.


Expressing serious concern at the growing unemployment in the country, the Tripura chief minister said that as per some estimates the number of unemployed could be around 17 crore. With the agrarian sector also in the doldrums, more number of people are joining this lot. In view of this, there is falling demand for industrial products leading to closure of industries and a further rise in unemployment. Sarkar cited how the central government was not filling up the nearly 40 lakh vacant posts in government. Moreover, it is insisting on state governments also not to fill vacant posts or create new posts. The Left Front government of Tripura has disregarded this advice, even risking cut in funds and is recruiting people into government jobs, he said.


Manik Sarkar concluded his speech by calling on the CITU to lead united working class struggles to provide relief to the suffering common people and strengthen the Left and democratic alternative in the country.


CITU all India president A K Padmanabhan greeted the people in a short speech in Telugu. CITU secretary Dr K Hemalata said the central trade unions are contemplating holding of all India general strikes for more than one day in the coming period because successive one-day general strikes have not been able to pressurise the government against pursuing anti-people policies.


Among those who addressed the meeting included CITU newly elected president M Saibabu and general secretary R Sudha Bhasker, outgoing president S Veeraiah and others.




The 13th state conference of Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Andhra Pradesh unit resolved to intensify united struggles against the anti-worker neo-liberal policies being pursued by the state and central governments.  It has decided to focus on strengthening its organisation at the mandal level across the state.


The four day state conference, held from July 5-8, 2012 in Hyderabad, was attended by 671 delegates from all the districts of the state. The venue of the conference at RTC Kalyana Mandapam was renamed as Comrade V Srihari Nagar, in memory of the late veteran trade union leader and contemporary of Comrade P Sundarayya. Another veteran leader, Parsa Satyanarayana, hoisted the CITU flag before the start of the conference.


Inaugurating the state conference, CITU all India general secretary Tapan Sen said that a joint conspiracy by corporates-Manmohan Singh government-IMF and World Bank is on to unleash second generation economic reforms in the country after the presidential polls in order to further loot the country. He called upon the working class of the country to gear up and intensify struggles to thwart this conspiracy.


Sen said that the central trade unions are fighting against these ruinous policies of the government at national level with greater unity today and cited the success of the previous two countrywide strikes. He said there is a general opinion emerging among the central trade unions that the next countrywide strike must be of multiple days duration instead of a single day to force the government to change its policies.


Every day newer forms of exploitation are being used by the ruling classes against the workers, pointed out Sen. One such form is the ‘Scheme workers’ categorisation whereby lakhs of Anganwadi, ASHA and Sarv Siksha Abhiyan workers are being denied even the minimum wage due to them. Similarly, there is no longer 8-hour working day norm in the country. Everywhere it is 12-hours of work with the extra 4 hours being unpaid work. It is these new forms that are resulting in huge profits for the corporates while driving the workers to below subsistence levels of living.


Talking about non-implementation of existing labour laws in recent times, Sen felt this is creating ground for growth of anarchic elements among working class, as was seen in the recent violent incidents in the Regency Ceramics factory unit in Yanam. Making it clear that this sort of anarchy is an unwelcome trend, the CITU leader called on the activists to guard against anarchy by organising workers and exposing the real face of the ruling classes. Underlining that it is capitalism that has brought the world to the edge of despair today, Sen asserted that only by changing this ruinous exploitative system through struggles can the working class be emancipated.


Chairman of the Reception Committee and former MP, P Madhu delivered his welcome address in the inaugural session. K Hemalata and S Punyavati, secretaries of CITU, were also present on the dais along with CITU state president S Veeraiah and general secretary R Sudha Bhasker. Among those who attended the inaugural session included CPI(M) Polit Bureau member B V Raghavulu and leaders of various fraternal trade unions.




The membership of CITU has increased in Andhra Pradesh from 5,68,294 at the time of 12th state conference to 6,60,879 now, making it the third biggest state unit in the organisation after West Bengal and Kerala. Significantly, 31 per cent of this membership is comprised of women workers. The membership has seen a rise across segments like Anganwadi, mid-day meal workers, beedi, grama panchayat workers, Singareni Colleries, road transport, medical representatives, municipal etc. State-wide unions have nearly 60 per cent of the total membership.


Noting the increase in membership, the report placed by general secretary in the conference also points out self-critically that the local unions membership in stronger districts like Khammam and Nalgonda is not commensurate with the strength of trade union movement in those districts. It has set a target of achieving 10 lakh membership by the time of next state conference.


When seen in the context of the tough political conditions prevailing in the state over the issue of Telangana, which was used to divide every section of working people, the growth of CITU, particularly in Telangana districts, is quite impressive. Delegates who participated in the discussion threw light on how they stood steadfast in the wake of threats and aggressive moves to split the unions. Ultimately, sticking to the core issue of fighting against exploitation has helped the CITU in rallying workers to the struggles. With the government also on a weak wicket due to fissures within and political challenges outside, many of the struggles launched by the CITU could end in some success.


Notable among the struggles have been the 6 lakh beedi workers struggle in five north Telangana districts; the struggle of 104 and 108 medical services workers; municipal field assistants struggle; mid-day meal workers, grama panchayat workers, ASHA workers struggle etc. The 36-day long struggle of nurses ended in success. The CITU has also played a key role in the united struggles launched in the state during the last three years. Although it was decided to focus on work in industrial clusters in 2008 itself, the work was actually begun in 2011 and in this short period there have been good results. It was stressed that this work in clusters must be taken forward with greater seriousness.


The conference discussed five crucial issues after breaking into commissions on those topics. Commission papers were presented on ‘Importance of Mandal centres – our effort’; ‘Effort in Industrial Clusters’; ‘Developing Internal Cadre’; ‘Our Work nature in Heavy and Medium Industries; and ‘Solidarity efforts’. The outcome of the discussions in these commissions was later presented to the conference in a brief manner.


Another crucial aspect that was highlighted during the conference was the need to step up the effort among the socially deprived sections of workers – dalits, tribals, minorities and women. The solidarity campaign and financial contribution to the work of the Struggle Committee against Caste Discrimination (KVPS) must be enhanced in the coming period, felt the conference. The political education carried out among the cadres and workers in the form of study circles and lectures has been intense during the last three years. This needs to be expanded to the lowest levels and institutionalised by training more cadre as teachers.


CITU all India president A K Padmanabhan, who sat through the conference, in his remarks complimented the AP unit for its expansion among workers. But he stressed that much more needs to be done to reach the vast number of working people in the state. The importance of having a strengthened organisational machinery for this task was underlined. Intensified political education for the cadres at all levels would be crucial, he stressed. He said the CITU is striving to achieve greater unity of the working class by waging united struggles against the anti-worker policies of the UPA-II government.


CITU secretary Dr K Hemalata, who was also present throughout the conference, in her remarks stressed that the consciousness of workers must be raised by CITU to expose the real face of the ruling classes and draw them in larger numbers into the impending struggles of the working class. She underlined the importance of bringing the growing numbers of unorganised sector workers into the organisational fold. Also special attention needs to be paid to the problems facing the working women in all sectors, she said.


The conference elected a 198 member state council which then elected a 92 member state committee and 27 member office bearers. M Saibabu was elected as new president and R Sudha Bhasker re-elected as general secretary.