Why I Resigned from Gen Secy & Polit Bureau
Puchalapalli Sundarayya (1913 – May 19, 1985), popularly known as Comrade PS, was a founding member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its first General Secretary. A leader of the peasant revolt in the former Hyderabad State of India, called the Telengana Rebellion, Comrade PS resigned from the post of General Secretary and Polit Bureau of CPI(M) on 22-8-1975. After some time, he wrote in details explaining the reasons behind his resignation. This historic document is very important for the Left movement in India today.
In my letter of 22-8-1975 to PBMs and CCMs I have briefly narrated the reasons for my resignation. They are:
1. My resignation is due to the fact that the CC majority has decided for joint actions with pro-imperialist Jana Sangh with para-military fascist (storm-trooper like RSS) as its core in the name of fighting emergency, which I consider very harmful for our party; both among democratic masses in our country and abroad, we will be getting isolated from the anti-imperialist and socialist forces.
2. My resignation is also due to the PB’s failure to concretise the tactical line, its application in T.U., Kisan and other mass fronts, and its application in building the party organisation, open and secret sections. It has been put in cold storage for all practical purposes.
3. My resignation is also due to the way the main class front, the T.U. Front, has been functioning in formulating the demands, in winning the democratic sections and other classes to back up their demands, in building party branches, fractions, and their functioning, especially at all-India level, bypassing the Party centre and over the heads of State Committees.
4. My resignation is also due to some major Party units not taking seriously the agrarian resolution in practice, neither delegating enough cadre to the front, nor building the unity of agricultural labour and the poor peasants on the one hand with the middle peasants on the other.
5. My resignation is also due to ignoring the building of secret part of our Party organisation, as envisaged in Muzaffarpur Resolution.
6. My resignation is also due, on the top of all, PB ceased to function as a collective body, most of PBMs working in their own States, but meeting once in six weeks or once a month, taking decisions on the current events or urgent issues. Com. M.B. after 1970 illness, left the headquarters and stayed in Vijayawada, and contributes his advice, opinion, but not actually fighting for his line or participates in carrying out the responsibility of PB. When in the PB, there cannot be frank discussion about major Party Units like Bengal, Kerala, or T.U. front, before the PBM of these States and fronts, and when the PBMs, BTR and myself, are at loggerheads on many issues, and with no prospect of improving the situation, it is better to resign from the post of G.S and P.B. instead of further damaging the party.
7. I have also come to the conclusion that without a PB of homogeneous political and organisational outlook functioning from the centre and not getting attached to any State without a firm majority in the CC, it is wrong for one especially like me who came from a movement, whatever its contribution in the past is today of small proportion, while there are not big States with their big mass organisation and big party units with their own rich experience to hold the responsible post of G.S.
8. So, in the period of emergency it is much more necessary for a unified PB and a GS in tune with the majority political line, and who can command the confidence of major units and have the authority and confidence to undertake the responsibility.
9. When I am resigning on these grounds and especially on the immediate political line, which I consider very harmful to the party, there is no meaning to keep my resignation as GS and as PBM a secret from the party rank and lower units. So, as soon as other CCMs from other regions’ opinions are collected by the PB, whatever its decisions, should be communicated to all party units.
10. In fact, if sufficient number of CCMs or party units representing at least 1/3 of the party membership are there to support me, I would demand a party congress to decide the political line and elect a new CC, PB and a new GS.
Certain PBMs, I was told, wanted a more detailed note on the same for making it understandable or easy to explain to the State Committee members and to comrades of lower committees.
Before I go into detailed explanation of the factors for my resignation, I want to make it once again clear that the differences in PB have persisted from 1969 beginning, which led Com. M.B and sometimes later PR to submit their resignations from PB but withdrawn later at the request of other PBMs. The differences became more acute by 1972 Madurai Congress of our Party, and it was decided that these differences be placed before CC and to continue the PB and CC without anyone resigning or withdrawing at the Party Congress. Documents enumerating differences were prepared by Com. BTR, M.B. and PS but they were not pressed or placed before the CC. But a statement was made before the CC in Nov. 1972 that the decisions of Madurai Congress (9th Congress) of our Party had given sufficient basis for carrying on the work and that in course of working them, if differences arise, they would be placed before CC for decision.
Yet in spite of CC decisions on Agrarian questions, the resolution “On Immediate Tasks before Party Organisation” (Muzaffarpur CC March 1973), differences on other issues had worsened. Even in implementing the decisions arrived at on agrarian and organisational resolutions, differences had become acute. I had to place all these differences before the CC in the beginning of 1974 in opposition to the advice given by other PBMs. CCMs have all the relevant documents, or extracts pertaining to these differences written by me, comrades BTR, MB and Surjeet. It was decided in June 1974 meeting of CC to take up one issue after another in the CC, and on the outcome of these discussions, the question of my continuing as GS or resignation was to finally be decided.
In this process, CC had passed resolutions “On Party & Trade Unions” (June 1974) “On Trade Union Unity and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh” and “On Certain T.U. Problems” (Sept. 1974). The way these resolutions were explained or implemented had become an issue of acrimonious debate between PB members, especially between Com. BTR and P.S. Further differences arose with regard to the estimation of Gujarat and Bihar movements, JP movement, our attitude towards them, the question of a ”broader front including Kerala Congress” advanced by Kerala State Committee, joint actions and joint action committees with All India Right reactionary parties like Congress (O), BLD and Jana Sangh, especially with the latter, except on the issue of fighting for civil liberties through Civil Liberties Union, It was decided in the PB meeting of June 10-11-1975 (which Com. MB avoided attending) that the question of my resignation from GS and from PB be discussed in the CC meeting to be held from July 17th to 22nd, 1975, along with other pending issues on the agenda, the priority being given to this.
Meanwhile, on June 26th, new emergency on the ground of internal security danger was declared by Indira Congress Govt. PB found itself and the party to be totally unprepared for this development and itself so scattered and dislocated and politically so disunited as to become virtually ineffective and practically non functioning
Now coming to detailed explanation: