CPM top brass got a rude shock over the Telangana statehood issue at the just concluded 20th National Congress (meeting) at Kozhikode. Two delegates from Telangana region voted against the party’s resolution opposing the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. This has sent shock waves across the party.
Voting against a resolution, moved by none other than Prakash Karat, has been reported widely in the media. This is the first time that such an open dissent against a party policy was taken by its delegates.
CPM politbureau member Brinda Karat tried to play down the incident saying that the dissent was miniscule as only 2 members had opposed it. But, the fact of the matter is not the number of delegates who opposed, but the very concept of opposing the party’s resolution. This kind of dissent was unheard of in CPM’s long history.
The Marxist party has been stubbornly opposing the Telangana statehood demand from past decade. It has muzzled the voice of local leadership and the open dissent at Kozhikode meeting is seen as a manifestation of the lack of internal democracy in the Marxist party.
The party has only one MLA in the state assembly, and he too hails from Telangana region. A major chunk of CPM’s sarpanchs and other lower level people’s representatives hail from Nalgonda and Khammam districts in Telangana region. Yet, the party is vehemently opposing the popular Telangana statehood demand.
Ever since the statehood movement flared up in late 2009, CPM’s lone MLA Julakanti Ranga Reddy is finding it difficult to even visit his own assembly constituency. In private talks, Telangana CPM leaders like Julakanti Ranga Reddy and Nomula Narasimhayya pledge their support to the statehood movement. But they claim that they can’t speak against the diktat of their central leadership.
The anti-Telangana stand of CPM has cost dearly for the party as scores of cadre have already deserted the party. CPM may end up losing all types of elections in the region in the coming two years.
CPM’s close political cousin, CPI was quick to reverse its pro-united AP stand. CPI is now in the forefront of the statehood movement.