Saturday, September 05, 2020

Journey towards mainstream: Is Maoist party on verge of a split?

Siva G | TNN | Updated: Sep 5, 2020, 08:10 IST
Picture for representational purpose only.


rumoured surrender

 offers by veteran 


 leaders Muppala Lakshmana Rao, alias Ganapathi, and 

Mallojula Venugopal

, alias Sonu, may lead to a possible spilt in the Maoist ranks and seriously affect the movement in the country.

There are reports that some more leaders, who hold key positions in the party, could become overground very soon and join the mainstream

Both Ganapathi and Venugopal are reportedly ailing and age too is not on their side. Their joining the mainstream, if indeed it happens, will likely lead to internal feuds and a 


 in the party that has seen many splinter groups join hands for a common cause in the last three decades.

It was Ganapathi who played a key role in the merger of many parties into the People’s War Group (PWG), which later merged with 

Maoist Communist Centre of India

 (MCCI) and came to be known as 

Communist Party of India

 (Maoist) in 2004. Ganapathi was the general secretary of the CPI (Maoist) and was the face of the movement in the country for nearly three decades, before ill health forced him to take a back seat.

He was replaced by 

Basava Raj

 in 2018, which also paved the way for new and young leaders to fill the slots of ageing and ailing seniors. It is believed that most of the senior leaders of the underground movement have been suffering from various health ailments.

According to sources, there is difference of opinion between the old PWG leaders, most of whom are from 


, and the erstwhile MCCI, which mostly consists of non-Telangana leaders.

A former Maoist, who later surrendered and joined the mainstream, said the movement is losing steam fast due to the lack of local support. Many top leaders have also been gunned down by security forces in the past decade, he said, adding that waning local support has also resulted in dissuading youths from joining the Maoist ranks. Strategic mistakes of the leadership also helped in the decline of the movement, he said.

He, however, expressed serious doubts over the surrender prospects of Ganapathi and Sonu. “It’s very unlikely. None of us believe they would offer to surrender. They have dedicated their entire lives for the movement, they would prefer to take a police bullet than surrender,” the former Maoist said

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