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E.III – New leadership at Central Head Quarters

Workers in Telecom all over India were enthralled hearing the election of new team of office-bearers. Congratulations and Greeting Telegrams poured from many places. Senior leaders of the P and T movement congratulated the new progressive team.

V.A.N.Namboodiri, President and Moni Bose, General Secretary were given a rousing reception at the New Delhi Railway Station on their arrival from Bhopal AIC. Coms. K.Adinarayana, Secretary General, NFPE, P.S.Raman Kutty, General Secretary, T.III Union and other leaders spoke congratulating the victorious office-bearers. They stated that this election of AIC Bhopal will strengthen the Telecom Trade Union movement in its forward march. None of the defeated leadership of OPG & Co was present in the railway station to greet the newly elected office-bearers.

The ballot papers and other connected records were brought to Delhi, which the defeated leadership had tried to destroy at Bhopal. They were deposited in a safe place.

The new leadership went to Dada Ghosh Bhawan, the Central Head Quarters of the E-III Union. O.P.Gupta, out-going General Secretary, gave charge to the new office-bearers and stated that he will vacate from Dada Ghosh Bhawan within one month , since he is no more an office-bearer. He also handed over the car of the union.( a very old car almost not usable). Since OPG was staying for some more time in DGB, Moni Bose was given another room to stay. A small kitchen was constructed in a few days for the use of Moni Bose and family. Jyotsna Bose, his wife, came to Delhi.

(But OPG did not shift from DGB as promised and continued to stay there with family). The residential accommodation of the GS was never handed over to Moni Bose, new General Secretary).

OPG, as outgoing GS, addressed a letter to Secretary, DOT intimating the election of the new office-bearers as required. The new office-bearers met the Secretary DOT and other top officers and started functioning. It was decided that V.A.N.Namboodiri, All India President, should function at CHQ in addition to the General Secretary. In fact, he had not returned to Kozhikode, Kerala, his place of office, after the AIC, since Moni Bose insisted on his presence at CHQ.

The Conspiracy

At the same time, a conspiracy was being hatched by OPG & Co. with the connivance of the administration and FNTO leader Ch. Raghubir Singh, who was very close to OPG. Raghubir Singh, in his capacity as Leader of the Departmental Council of Joint Consultative Machinery, wrote to Chairman, Telecom Commission and Secretary, DOT (both posts are occupied by  same officer) on 10-12-1991, after more than one month of the AIC, opposing recognition of Com. Moni Bose, on the ground that he is a dismissed employee of the 1949 strike. The letter-head of the JCM was misused, of which OPG was the Secretary, Staff Side. On enquiry, it was found out that the letter was typed and got signed by Raghubir Singh by the defeated leadership and given to the management.

Moni Bose De-recognised as General Secretary

Within two days of the submission of the letter, DOT intimated Moni Bose on 13-12-1991, denying recognition to him as General Secretary of the Union. The conspiracy of OPG-Raghubir Singh –DOT was exposed. The fact was that OPG could not accept his defeat in grace, even though he has accepted the same at the venue of the conference. Later it was also understood that there was much pressure on him by many, to somehow stick to his earlier position as GS.

The plea of the DOT to deny recognition to Moni Bose had no base or sense. It was a blatant violation of rules. There was no rule that a dismissed employee can not be an office-bearer. Moni Bose, all along has been an office-bearer of the Union and was the All India Vice-President of the same union, till he resigned from the post just before the Bhopal AIC. He was recognised as an office-bearer by the DOT as Vice-President when OPG was the General Secretary, but when he became General Secretary defeating OPG, the DOT derecognised him! Wonderful logic of the government to protect the pro-management leaders!

The derecognition of Moni Bose was taken as a challenge by the union. The new team continued its regular functioning. VAN Namboodiri, as President of the union, corresponded with the DOT in the new situation.

Case filed in Calcutta High Court for recognising Moni Bose

CHQ took up the case of non-recognition of Moni Bose with the Calcutta High Court. Com. Somnath Chatterjee, MP, who later became the Speaker of the Parliament, was the advocate for the union. (To be continued)