Bhopal, October 1991. It was more than a bomb explosion. Com.O.P.Gupta, the undisputed General Secretary of All India Telecom Employees Union Class III for long 37 years was utterly defeated in a stiff contest in the Bhopal All India Conference held in the last week of October 1991. Com.Moni Bose was elected as General Secretary and myself as President. Out of more than 30 circles, we had majority in 7 circles only, but in the election we won, which was a complete surprise to all. Our propaganda against the wrong decisions taken by OPG which was against the interests of the workers have clinched. But we knew that OPG group will not sit idle and parallel list of office-bearers and dispute will come later as in 1971, when Com.K.G.Bose was elected as President of NFPTE.
So, when OPG tried through his supporters to forcibly take the ballot papers and other documents connected with the election, the election officers headed by Com.J.Renganathan ( Com.Homi Daji, M.P. the former President and who conducted the election having left the place) resisted and handed over the same to the newly elected General Secretary, Moni Bose. There was some tussle and move to manhandle us.
How to keep the ballots and records safe was one question. We took the help of the M.P. State Secretary of Income Tax Employees Federation of India, Com.Ramachandran. After two days Moni Bose and me started for Delhi. Since we had apprehension about the safety of the records on reaching Delhi, we took Com. Ramachandran also with us in the journey. The election records including the about 10,000 ballot papers (separate for office-bearers and 35 Federal Councillors), calculation sheets, 30 or so ballot boxes, seals etc were packed in two big sacks and taken along with us. We were full of anxiety as to what will happen when reaching Delhi. We kept our journey schedule secret and no information was given to anybody about our arrival at Delhi, since there was apprehension about the safety of records and our own safety. What happened in the P IV Union earlier, when Com.K.Adinarayana won against the wishes of Com. OPG was well known to us. We had our own experiences in the Conferences, when our comrades were beaten. Better be prepared.
Our plan was to get down at Nizamuddin Railway Station and go to V.P.House or so, where Com.K.Adinarayana was staying or some other place to be safe. But on reaching the station we decided that we will get down in New Delhi Railway Station and face the situation boldly. Com.Ramachandran went to ITEF office from Nizamudin Station with the records.
It was a complete surprise! when we got down from the train 40 – 50 comrades led by Coms. Adinarayana, Secretary General NFPE, P.S.Raman Kutty, GS, T.III Union, Desh Raj, GS P.IV and others were there to welcome us with union flags and shouting slogans. It seemed that they were more happy than us in the election victory. We were garlanded and led to the RMS office where a meeting was held.
Our anxiety was gone. We became bold. Yes, we had good support. We decided to go directly to Dada Ghosh Bhawan, the E.III Union Office. There was no problem. Gupta allotted one room for us and told that he will vacate building within one month handing over everything to the newly elected office bearers. Temporarily, there was truce.
(Our plan to keep the ballot papers and records safe had its advantages later when OPG created dispute through parallel lists and court cases. It is another long story. Some time later about that.)