M. Rajeev

Arguments over Council nominees too Heated debate between members at a recent meeting of the party's State executive

HYDERABAD: The selection of nominees for the Legislative Council and the developments on separate Telangana have raised major controversies within the Communist Party of India (CPI) placing the State leadership in a piquant situation.

It was initially the CPI's resolution urging the Centre to take steps on Telangana that created a furore with members from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions openly opposing any move to bifurcate the State.

Even as the party leadership was grappling with this issue, the selection of Jelli Wilson as the second nominee for the Council led to further rumblings in the party.

Secret ballot

The party leadership opted for a secret ballot as there was more than one aspirant for the post, but its result forced the party to seek a new candidate.

The candidate who received "overwhelming" response hails from the community to which the party's first nominee Puvvada Nageswara Rao belongs. The decision to ignore the result of the secret ballot led to heartburn among the winner and his supporters, party sources said.

This led to a heated debate in the recent meeting of the party's State executive where several members expressed displeasure at the way the leadership handled the situation. "At one stage, we wanted the entire State secretariat to put in their papers and seek the mandate from the cadre afresh," a senior leader said.

When contacted, CPI State secretary K. Narayana maintained that such issues were common in internal debates when the views of everyone are considered. The opposition for separate Telangana was natural as "a majority of the senior party leaders were members of the party's struggles for united Andhra Pradesh earlier."

Referring to the Council nominees, Dr. Narayana said the party leadership had to consider several factors including regional and caste considerations before finalising the nominees. The same process was adopted in this case too. "Members may have their opinions on the issues, but they have not rebelled against the leadership for its decisions," he pointed out.