Delegates from Calicut including my wife and a few other women comrades reached Bhopal about two days before start of AIC, so as to visit the nearby places of interest. We stayed in a hotel near the railway station, arranged by Reception Committee. When not visiting places, went to Railway Station along with Reception Committee members and received delegates. Utilised the opportunity to discuss organisational matters with them.

AIC started as per schedule. In all proceedings progressive section actively participated and expressed their viewpoints effectively. Coms.Moni Bose, JR and VAN explained why they resigned their office-bearer posts and also criticised the collaborationist policy being adopted by CHQ, instead fighting anti-worker policies of government. Comrades P.V.Chandrasekharan, Ananata Bhattacharjee, Shibdas Banerjee, R.S.Yadav, M.N.Reddy S.R.Nayak and other leaders from our side spoke effectively. Delegates appreciated our stand by and large.During recess, senior comrades met and reviewed performance of our speakers. Points to be raised were discussed. It was also decided to contest in election of office-bearers.

Both groups presented their view points and counter points very effectively. Most speakers were experienced leaders and knew how to present matters to the point. GS intervened now and then to counter the points raised by Moni Bose group.

Time for election of office-bearers arrived. President Com. Homi Daji called for nominations. Since we had prepared the panel earlier, submitted it immediately. General Secretary and his team were completely taken by surprise. For many previous conferences only, one list used to be there, presented by or on behalf of GS. A panel was submitted by OPG group also.

Discussions took place to arrive at a settlement, but unsuccessful. Contest became inevitable. It was not easy to hold voting with about 5,000 delegates.. though some had left by that time. Preparation of ballots with names of the contestants, polling arrangement, deciding method of voting – all took many hours.During the period, both sides organised processions with flags, banners and placards inside the huge pandal, meeting delegates and canvassing votes. Got good advantage since we had prepared all these in advance. But we were aware of the ground reality – out of more than 30 circles, we had majority and Circle Secretary in only about 7 circles viz. Kerala, W.Bengal, Calcutta Telephones, Assam, North East, Telecom Factory and U.P. However, there were many in other circles also who supported us. Voting continued for many hours. Circle Secretaries were given responsibility for voting and counting in their circles. Despite that, the process took time.

At last results were announced by Com. Homi Daji, who was both President and Presiding Officer. (Though he was proposed for the post of President by OPG group, he had declined with thanks). It sent shock waves among delegates. All posts, including posts of President and General Secretary, except two posts of Assistant General Secretaries, have gone to Moni Bose group. V.A.N.Namboodiri was elected as President, Moni Bose as General Secretary and Begraj Khari as Treasurer with good majority. The maximum number of votes were received by Com. A.K.Saramma, Vice-President. In the voting for Federal Councillors also, more numbers were from Moni Bose group. It increased the confidence of the workers on our side.

It was a historical victory for the progressives, never even dreamt by anybody. Reasons were clear. Though workers accepted what their leaders spoke to them, they were angry with the line taken by dominant leadership. When they got a chance they made use of it.

O.P.Gupta, who was General Secretary of the E.III Union since its inception in 1954 has been defeated and Moni Bose, leader of the progressive section has been elected in his place. Its importance was not limited in E.III Union. The entire CG employees’ movement viewed it as an important development. Certainly it was. It changed my life also. (to be continued).Photos 1. Moni Bose 2. V.A.N.Namboodiri 3. Begraj Khari

55Ramasamy, Chandrasekharn Puthiyaveettil and 53 others20 CommentsLikeCommentShare