Mysore CWC – Disruption by the defeated leadership

OP Gupta, as Secretary General, issued notice for holding of the Federal Council of NFTE at Mysore from 14th to 17th March 1992. Federal Council consists of the office-bearers of the Federation, all the General Secretaries of the affiliated 9 unions and the Federal Councilors elected from the All India Conference of the respective affiliated unions on the basis of their respective membership. As part of the conspiracy against the new leadership of E-III Union, the defeated leadership requisitioned for a CWC meeting of the E-III Union.

The CHQ E.III Union, after receiving the requisition, called for a  special meeting of the Central Working Committee at Mysore on 14th March 1992 for the specific purpose of discussing the non-acceptance of Moni Bose as GS of the union by the DOT. This was also to enable the CWC members, who are also Federal Councilors to participate in the Federal Council being held at Mysore.

From the very beginning, some of the  CWC members from the OPG group tried to obstruct the proceedings on one issue or another. But unfortunately for the disruptors, the majority of the CWC members fully supported the CHQ. When they found out that they are in minority, they wanted to create dispute and scuttle the meeting. They demanded without any justification that the District Secretaries of Ahmedabad, Bangalore etc. be treated as circle secretaries. This was against constitutional provisions and as such was rejected by the President.

OPG and group tried to create pandemonium and started beating some of the CWC Members. This was naturally resisted. Again finding that they are not getting any support from the majority, they walked out. That was the plan  to create a dispute.

Later, a circular was issued by OPG that he does not accept the verdict of the Bhopal AIC and the old office-bearers will continue. Com.S.Jagannathan was nominated as Officiating General Secretary, followed by Com. M.B.Vichare. OPG also wrote to the department stating that they are the real office-bearers of E.III Union.

DOT supports disruptors

Instead of rejecting the bogus claim of the disruptors outright as was required under the circumstances, DOT accepted the letter and treated the same as a dispute. It was most shameful on the part of the DOT to support a dispute after five months of the All India Conference, thus helping the disruption to butcher democracy and truth.

The Mysore CWC condemned the non-recognition of Comrade Moni Bose and strongly demanded that he should be accepted as General Secretary.

Federal Council at Mysore, 14-17 March 1992

There was sharp difference on the policies to be adopted by the Federal Council. The acceptance of reduction of staff by the three Federations, viz. NFTE, FNTO and BTEF,  in the name of cadre restructure was severely criticized by many Federal Councilors.

Shri B.S.Verma, Director (SR), who attended as official observer, openly praised O.P.Gupta, in his speech, possibly to influence the election in his favour. This in any way, was a breach of rules and democratic principles. A resolution moved by Com. Moni Bose criticizing the NFTE leadership on cadre restructure received 42.3% votes, though it could not be passed.

Stiff contest to the election took place.  Coms. J.N.Mishra, P.S.Ramankutty and Tirlok Sharma who contested to the posts got 43% votes. Com.O.P.Gupta was elected as Secretary General, but with  a low margin of votes, which reflected that he was losing support even from his own comrades. Later, some more comrades deserted OPG.

Unfortunately, the NFTE Executive decided to recognize the disruptor group of M.B.Vichare as  the General secretary of E.III Union, thus supporting disruptors of the movement. The duly elected General Secretary of E.III union, Moni Bose, was kept out. All doors were being closed in the face of the democratically elected leadership.

NFTE Office demolished

The accommodation allotted to NFTE and occupied by it at  Gole Market, New Delhi,  was demolished on 27-03-1992 by a large number NDMC workers supported by the police. The NDMC wanted the site to construct certain buildings, including a hotel. The unexpected demolition resulted in the loss of valuable documents, furniture, type-writers etc. The offices of the P&T Administrative and T.IV unions were also destroyed. NDMC claim was that notice was given earlier for vacating and since not vacated they are demolishing the same. Com.OPG, Secretary General, NFTE, who was in the office protested. He was arrested and taken in to custody and kept at the Mandir Marg Police Station.

Coms.VAN Namboodiri and K.M.Pillai, who were in the Dada Ghosh Bhawan, hearing the news rushed to the NFTE office. The demolition was continuing. Despite protest, the demolition did not stop. They went to the Police Station and met OPG. The police stated that he has not been arrested but is in custody only and after some time will be released. But nothing happened.

Demolition of NFTE office and arrest of the Secretary General were serious matters. Com. Moni Bose, GS, was out of station. Com. Namboodiri immediately contacted the leaders of three Federations and wanted immediate protest action. E.III Union gave immediate Sit-in-Strike call in the night itself, which was followed by the 3 Federations next day. Complete dislocation of telecom services was the result. Detailed  discussions took place at high level. On the assurance of the Cabinet Secretary that alternate accommodation will be allotted to NFTE, the agitation was called off by the evening of 28th March 1992. Com.OPG had been released in the late night of 27th itself.  NFTE was allocated quarters in  Bangla Saheb Street, near VSNL Office (now Tata Communications). (To be continued)