OPG supporters had already started conspiracies how to torpedo the election of the All India Conference and create problems in the organisation. As part of it, they raised the strange demand that the polled ballots and other records should be handed over to the outgoing office-bearers, since Com. Moni Bose is yet to take charge as the General Secretary. Coms. N.T.Sajwani and R.K.Kohli led the group and pressurised the election officers for the same. Well knowing that this was intended to manipulate the votes and results later, the Asst. Presiding Officer Com. J.Renganathan firmly refused to consider the unjustified request.
Workers have not forgotten, how Com. OPG, General Secretary, manipulated the records after the Gauhati All India Conference in 1969, by declaring after reaching Delhi, that election of Com. K.G.Bose as Federal Councillor, is nullified. The plan now was to repeat the same and nullify the Bhopal elections.
(Com.J.Renganathan, Asst. Presiding Officer, who took the correct and firm decision, was the Vice-President of the All India Union, who has resigned the post protesting against the revisionist line of the General Secretary, along with Moni Bose and V.A.N.Namboodiri, who were respectively, Vice-President and Asst. General Secretary of the union, just before the All India Conference. He entered the services in 1959 in Ramnad Telephone Exchange as Telephone Mechanic and became a leader of the union within a short time. His close connection with leaders like Com. A.Pirmanathan, Pasupati, Gurumurthy and others helped him to develop as a militant leader. He was suspended and transferred to Coimbatore for leading the 1968 historic one day token strike of the Central government employees. He reached back to Madras in 1970. In 1989, he became the Circle Secretary of Madras Telephone District Circle after defeating the then circle secretary and a close associate of OPG, Com. B.Srinivasa Rao. JR, as he was popularly called, was already elected as the Asst. General Secretary in the Madras All India Conference. He voluntarily retired from service in 1993 with commitment to social service. He worked as Editor of the labour magazine “ Uzhaikkum Vargam” for a number of years .
During my last visit to Chennai, I went to his house and met him and wife and had discussion about the various aspects of the present situation of BSNL. He was a comrade who stood firm during his entire service in telecom for the correct policies and is one of my close associate for decades).
I, as the newly elected President, intervened and took hold of the entire documents, ballots etc. which was handed over to me by the Com. JR, Asst. Presiding Officer and kept it in a safe place. Com. Ramachandran, Secretary of ITEF, M.P., Com. S.C.Shrivastava, Circle Secretary T.III Union, M.P.Circle and others gave full support and assistance in the matter.
Com. Moni Bose and I stayed at Bhopal for two days arranging everything for moving to Delhi. Comrades who came along with me including my wife returned to Calicut. I had no other way but to go to Delhi and stay some time there, according to the promise I had given to Com. Moni Bose. The situation was serious since any move from OPG group had to be countered.
What will be the situation in Delhi? We were very apprehensive. Whether we will be allowed to function in Dada Ghosh Bhawan, CHQ of the union? Where we will stay? How to effectively strengthen the organisation? What will be the reaction of the DOT? A lot of questions were in our mind.
Any way, we prepared for our Delhi journey along with the ballot papers and election materials etc. No prior information was given to anybody, as we expected some protest demonstration etc. since the OPG group was very angry, which we have seen at Bhopal after the elections.
But after considering everything we firmly decided that we will face everything calmly and courageously and started for Delhi by train. All options were discussed. Our final option was that after getting down, we will directly go to Dada Ghosh Bhawan, the citadel of E.III Union. We will function from there. (To be continued)