Thursday, January 19, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Why CPM leadership eludes backward & Dalit sections?

Why CPM leadership eludes backward & Dalit sections?
TNN Jan 19, 2012, 04.27AM IST

KHAMMAM/VIJAYAWADA: Ahead of the crucial state general council
meeting, a serious debate is going on in the CPM party circles as to
why a leader from backward and Dalit sections has never been made the
party chief.

The discussion is significant as the party's state general body which
is slated to meet at Khammam from February 2-4 will elect a new
secretary to the state committee. While a majority of the leaders
prefer incumbent secretary B V Raghavulu to continue till the next
general elections, he himself has expressed his wish to relinquish the

Raghuvulu has been holding the post for almost 15 years since he was
first made the party chief in 1997. According to sources, party's
state secretariat member and senior leader from CITU, S Veeraiah, is
likely to replace Raghavulu. Incidentally, Veeraiah is from Telangana
and belongs to the BC community. Though CPM has only one
representative (Julakanti Ranga Reddy) in the state Assembly, the
party's strong base among the working classes and rural Dalit sections
is intact. This was the reason why Congress and TDP continue to seek
CPM support during the elections.

Despite staking claim to the support of oppressed sections, the
party's failure to hand over the reins to a leader from such sections
seems to have slowly alienated it from the masses. in spite of such
defense, the party leadership has never been comfortable in facing
such awkward questions as its record in giving due share to the Dalits
or BCs has been poor. "We never take caste of a leader into account
before giving him responsibility. It is only ability that matters,"
explained another veteran of the party.

But a cursory glance at all those who have occupied the secretary post
presents a different picture as they all hail from upper castes. To be
precise, except for stalwart Puchalapalli Sundaraiah (a Reddy leader),
all the other state secretaries since the party's formation in 1964
belonged to one single community - Kamma.

While Moturu Hanumantha Rao held the position for four terms since
1964, Lavu Balagangadhar Rao (LBG) was secretary for two terms between
1985-1991. Subsequently, a senior leader from Guntur, Koratala
Satyanarayana held the position for two terms between 1991-95 till he
handed over the reins to Raghuvulu at the party's 19th conclave at
Nalgonda in 1997.

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