Revival plan

Print edition : November 06, 2009

REVIVING the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh will be crucial for the ultra-Left party in the current situation where different States are getting ready to launch an all-out offensive against it with the full backing of the Centre. The Maoist leadership is preparing for a showdown and appears to be all set to reclaim lost ground in Andhra Pradesh, especially in the north Telengana districts. This is evident from the increased movement of armed cadre in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts. In the last three months Maoist hit squads killed two people in Karimnagar and one person in Warangal, and robbed a bank in Khammam.

However, the revival of the movement will not be that easy. As the activity at mass organisation activity is almost zero in the State, the party will have to depend exclusively on violent acts such as attacks on politicians, civilians branded as informants, and the police. But it was this overdependence on the military activity that led to its downfall in Telengana. In effect, the party is not in a position to organise partial struggles on any peoples issues, an essential component of the Protracted Peoples War (PPW). That the Maoists had earlier failed even to take advantage of an emotive issue like a separate Telengana State speaks volumes about the peoples support to the causes taken up by the Maoists.

They did indeed try to take up the proposal to start an open-cast coal mining project in Karimnagar and called a bandh, but it did not evoke any response. Interestingly, after killing a villager, Ramlal of Yatnaram village in Karimnagar, on October 12, the Maoists left a letter listing several demands, including the supply of 50 kg of rice a month and Rs.1,000 as pension to every household, 10 hours of power supply, and fee waivers to all students.

Broadly, the Maoists strategy is simple. They expect that the security forces withdrawn from Kashmir will be redeployed in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand, where the revolutionary movement is intense. Their counter-strategy is to strike in newer areas just to divert the attention of the enemy [state], as stated in the July 12, 2009, politburo document. The document was issued two days after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram announced the phased withdrawal of the Central Reserve Police Force from Kashmir.

The Maoist influence is relatively strong in Bastar bordering Khammam, Warangal and Karimnagar districts of north Telengana, and in Malkangiri, Koraput and Ganjam districts of Orissa, bordering the north coastal districts of Andhra, and Gadchiroli, abutting the forest areas of Adilabad. This enables its squads to dart into the State, strike and retreat into the relative safety of Orissa, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

The revival plan is not just part of the overall strategy of the Maoists. On a different plane, the central leadership representing the erstwhile CPI(ML) Peoples War (PW) in the unified CPI(Maoist) feels slighted in front of comrades from the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI). In the post-2004 merger phase, there has been a severe setback in Andhra Pradesh, where the PW was strong. But in MCCI-controlled areas such as Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the movement has been growing stronger. Another embarrassment for PW leaders in the united Maoist party is that they outnumber their MCCI counterparts in the all-powerful Central Committee and the politburo. At every meeting, MCCI leaders make it a point to express their reservations about the capability of Andhra leaders to lead the movement.

K. Srinivas Reddy

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