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It was a great surprise! We were thinking of silently going to Dada Ghosh Bhawan. But lo! there were hundreds of P and T employees waiting for us in the New Delhi Railway Station. But they were not OPG’s men opposing us. They were comrades who were happy at our election and have come in large numbers to receive us at the railway Station. The P and T comrades under the leadership of Comrades K.Adinarayana, Secretary General NFPE,  P.S.Raman Kutty, GS T.III, N.M.S.Rao, AGS R.III Union etc. were waiting for some time and as soon as we stepped down from the train they started shouting slogans  welcoming us and garlanding both of us. It seemed that they were more happy  that O.P.Gupta was defeated which nobody expected was feasible. We were taken as giant killers. There were no supporters of OPG.

A meeting was held at the RMS office premises in the railway station and the leaders welcomed us and we also spoke. The leaders and workers extended all help in our functioning at CHQ, Delhi. It was a great relief.

After safely placing all the records including the ballot papers etc. at  the ITEF office, we reached Dada Ghosh Bhawan, the CHQ of E.III Union. We did not face any problem there, as was feared. O.P.Gupta welcomed us and arranged our stay, though temporarily. He told us that since he is no more General Secretary of the Union, his residence will be shifted within one month and Moni Bose, the new General Secretary can occupy the same. Union charge was handed over to Moni Bose. He handed over the old car also. A small kitchen was arranged for the new General Secretary. Its expense, about Rs. 30,000 was to be handed over to him. (In fact, neither did Gupta hand over the quarters to Moni Bose, nor hand over the accounts and other records. He stayed there continuously for a very long time and planned conspiracies and with   the connivance of the government split the organisation. All about that later.)

OPG handed over the list of new office bearers with Coms. Moni Bose as General Secretary to the Secretary, DOT and introduced him. Both  VAN and Moni Bose started functioning from Dada Ghosh Bhawan.

Central Secretariat meets.

The meeting of the central secretariat of the union was held within days presided over by President V.A.N.Namboodiri. Asst. General Secretaries elected from OPG’s panel, Com. S.Jagannathan and R.K.Kohli were also present. Head Quarters Allowance of a nominal amount of Rs. 350 was allowed both to General Secretary and Asst. General Secretary (RK Kohli). Immediate tasks to be attended to were finalised. CHQ started functioning in right earnest.

Conspiracy

While all these were going on, a deep conspiracy was being hatched behind. Com. Raghubir Singh, Chairman of FNTO, Leader of the Staff Side of the Joint Consultative Machinery and a close friend O.P.Gupta gave a letter to the DOT stating that Moni Bose can not be accepted and recognised as General Secretary, since he was a terminated employee in connection with the proposed strike of 1949. The letter was typed in the Letter Head of the JCM, of which O.P.Gupta was the Secretary, Staff Side. This was handed over by R.K.Kohli to the Secretary, DOT. This was a well planned operation. Letter was received within two days from the DOT by Moni Bose that a terminated employee can not be accepted as General Secretary and that President V.A.N. Namboodiri is authorised to do the correspondence etc. The conspiracy of OP Gupta – Raghubir Singh – DOT  was totally exposed.

It became clear that OPG was not prepared to accept the democratically elected leadership at Bhopal AIC. May be there was strong pressure from his senior comrades also, who were afraid of their own position. The stand of the DOT was ridiculous. The same department which had recognised O.P.Gupta, who never worked in the Department, as General Secretary for more than three and half decades was objecting to a person who had worked in the Department and was terminated without even a show cause notice for alleged participation in a strike, which never happened. How surprising are the ways of the administration to help a favourite.

Though withdrawn recognition, Moni Bose continued his regular functioning at CHQ. For correspondence and dealing with the department V.A.N.Namboodiri President also stayed at Delhi to assist Moni Bose. There was no other way to safeguard the organisation. It was the starting of a continuous stay at Delhi for long 25 years.

At the unjustified rejection of recognition as General Secretary, Moni Bose filed a case in Calcutta High Court through eminent Parliamentarian and Senior Advocate Com. Somnath Chatterjee, who later became the Hon’ble Speaker of the Parliament. (To be continued)