Despite setbacks, Maoists gear up for 10th congress

KOZHIKODE: The leadership of the CPI (Maoist) has undertaken the uphill task of conducting the 10th congress of the party in the face of heightened onslaught from the security forces in Maoist strongholds.

The conferences of the various units of the party have been completed and the stage is set for the congress where major policy decisions will be taken. The date and venue of the congress will be a closely guarded secret till those who participated in the meeting return to their respective hideouts. It is expected that the congress will be held within a few months.

The eighth congress of the erstwhile CPI-ML (People’s War) was held at Abujhmad, in Chhattisgarh in 2001 and the ninth congress or the ‘unity congress’ at Bhimbandh forest in Bihar in 2007. Intelligence agencies came to know about them only months after the events. Though central committee member Wadakkappur Chandramouli was arrested ahead of the ‘unity congress’, police failed to elicit any information from him about the meeting.

This time, it will be a war of wit between the state and the Maoists. Armed with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the security forces will try to locate the venue of the congress. If they succeed, they will be able to encircle the entire Maoist leadership who have been eluding the police for decades. Recovery of communication equipment used by some Maoist leaders has enabled the police to get some vital information about the movement of certain leaders.

The Maoists, on their part, will be extra-cautious while organizing the event. Usually, the congress is held at a remote forest area which is completely dominated by rebels. The squads of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) will sterilize the entire area much before the commencement of the meeting.

Filling the vacancies in the politburo and the central committee will be the main agenda of the congress. Four politburo members are now in jail and three – Sende Rajanouli, Azad and Kishenji – have been killed in encounters. Shiela Marandi, the woman member in the CC, is under arrest and another member Anuradha Ghandy died two years ago. It is expected that more second-rung leaders will be elevated to higher positions to fill the slots.

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