Friday, March 05, 2010

Comrades wary of Kishenji’s sound bytes GS VasuFirst Published : 05 Mar 2010 05:49:00 AM IST HYDERABAD: It is not just Union Home Minister P Chidamba|pSiw=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=EH8HilNJ2uYAot5nzqumeA==&SEO=
GS VasuFirst Published : 05 Mar 2010 05:49:00 AM IST

HYDERABAD: It is not just Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is finding top Maoist leader Kishenji’s statements, the latest one on the 72-day ceasefire, bizarre.
The CPI-Maoist top leadership also seems to be perturbed over some of the statements made by its politburo member in the recent past and more particularly, the form he has been adopting -- speaking over phone to television channels on a regular basis, a strict NO-NO for an underground leader.

The discomfort among the Maoist leadership was revealed to anti-Naxal Intelligence agencies during the course of interrogation of some ultras arrested in the past few months.

The prize catch was, of course, the one managed by the Bengal Police on Tuesday when they arrested Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak, a close aide of Kishenji.
There are quite a few aspects which appear baffling.

Kishenji is currently heading the East Regional Bureau of the CPI_Maoist (West Bengal, Jharkhand and NE states) but he is acting as if he is the official spokesman, a job entrusted to another senior who goes by the name of Azad.

Any policy decision of the Maoist party, whether on ceasefire or the Telangana issue, is expected from the official spokesman.

On ceasefire, Kishenji gave a telephone number on which he could be contacted for government response but the mobile turned out to be that of a constable. On the T statehood demand, Kishenji went to the extent of giving phone-ins to some local channels on more than one occasion and even answered questions from viewers.
This has caused consternation among the protagonists of Telangana, irrespective of their political ideology as they feel it has unnecessarily lent a Maoist tag to the statehood movement which is mainly led by mainstream political parties and mass organizations.

They are not wrong.

The TV interviews of Kishenji have been used by the AP government before the Supreme Court to prove its point that Maoists have infiltrated the statehood movement, though there is little evidence to suggest the same.

While Intelligence agencies are said to be more than happy with the “loose cannon” Kishenji, Maoist sympathizers are puzzled.

For, Kishenji, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, is no novice, having joined the movement almost three decades ago and is more than aware of the nuances that govern underground life.

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