- UNITY CONFERENCE IN KERALA
Unity restored in All India Union. Now the task was to forge unity in Kerala Circle.
As stated earlier, there was serious difference between the two groups. Though in minority, OPG group was functioning with recognition and majority K.G.Bose group without recognition.
Coms. M.C.Ayyappa Kutty and V.Sreenivasan, Circle Secretaries of KG Bose group and OPG group respectively, discussed and decided to hold the two days Unity Circle Conference at Quilon (Kollam) on 27-28 December 1975. First day for conferences separately, next day Unity Conference.
It is tradition of Kerala to hold all Circle Conference together of unions affiliated to NFPTE. But since this was a unity conference of two groups in E.III Union, other circle conferences were not held there. No all India union leaders were present.
As scheduled, both groups conducted their separate circle conferences first day. How to vacate victimisation of terminated and other comrades in connection with 1974 strike was most important issue in KGB group conference. It was difficult to conduct militant struggle in view of Emergency.
Leaders of both factions sat together and discussed about conduct of unity conference and also election of office-bearers. It was decided that Circle President will be from KG Bose Group and Circle Secretary from OPG Group. Other posts will be equally distributed. KG Bose group, though had good majority, agreed to this unjustified equation in order to restore unity.
Unity session held in evening elected a united list of office-bearers with Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri as President and Com.T.V.Joeph as Circle Secretary. Conference ended with slogans of unity.
Though unity was restored at Circle level, it was more difficult to implement at lower levels, since for last few years there were rifts and quarrels on almost every day on one or other issues between the groups. Both groups wanted important post of Secretary. Circle Union took decision that majority group will take Secretary post and other the post of President. Office-bearers will be equally divided as in circle. It was easy to advise, but difficult to implement.
One after another District Conferences were held. Both President and Circle Secretary participated in all conferences. Circle Secretary spoke supporting Emergency while Circle President sharply opposed it. Though it was dangerous, correct position had to be placed before delegates. For election office bearers, groups as well as Circle President and Circle Secretary used to sit in a closed room and finalise list. Sometimes, it took three or four hours, but certainly settled in the end. Unity had got to be restored.
Kottayam Circle Conference
Next Circle Conference of E.III Union was held at Kottayam on 7-9 May 1977. While delivering Presidential address I became unconscious and fell down. It seems that food taken from a hotel at Alwaye in the night while coming to Kottayam day before may have been poisonous. Managed to attend conference somehow and then got admitted in Medical College Hospital, Kottayam. Com. T.V.Joseph was elected as Circle President and me as Circle Secretary unanimously.
I was in hospital for a few days more. Coms. N.S.S.Nair, District Secretary, Kottayam, M.K.Jacob, S.R.K.Panicker and Com.P.N.Kurup who came along with me from Calicut and other comrades gave all help while I was in hospital. I was advised to be in hospital for a few days more. However, I told that I will go to Calicut and get admitted in the Medical College there. That was what was done. After some days, got better. Joined duty. Being elected as Circle Secretary I had to shift to Trivandrum. (to be continued).