NEW DELHI: The curtains on the two-decade-old internal fight between the two factions of Indian National Trade Union (INTUC) seems to have fallen on Saturday after the Congress leadership, on the basis of the findings of a two-member committee decided, to recognise the faction led by G. Sanjeeva Reddy as the real INTUC while rejecting the claims of Chandrashekhar Dubey.
This decision has, however, been termed as a “faltu faisla” (nonsense decision) by Dubey. The two sides were engaged in a prolonged legal and political fight with both claiming to represent the real INTUC.
In a communication sent by Congress General Secretary K.C Venugopal to Dubey on Friday, the Congress stated that AICC recognises the INTUC led by Reddy as the official body. It also issued an appeal to Dubey to, “resolve his difference amicably with Reddy, immediately withdraw all related pending cases in different courts and to extend his cooperation elections for various INTUC posts.”
The letter added that “failure to carry out the instructions would be viewed seriously”. Kharge also appointed a Coordination Committee to keep an eye on the affairs of INTUC which has Tariq Anwar as Convenor and four other members including Harish Rawat, K. Muraleedharan, Rajmani Patel and Udit Raj. The letter also mentioned the said decision to recognise the Reddy faction was taken on the basis of the report submitted by a two member committee comprising Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijaya Singh that was constituted on the directions of former party president Sonia Gandhi in August last year.
“I am very much surprised by this decision. The two committee members (Singh and Kharge) were attending meeting that was being organised by the Reddy group. This was wrong on their part, I had objected to this. I went to Delhi four times after being asked to so that the dispute can be resolved, but Reddy didn’t come even once. And now they have announced their judgement without even talking to me. This is a nonsense decision, I don’t accept this,” Dubey told The Sunday Guardian.
Sources close to the ‘losing’ faction of Dubey told The Sunday Guardian that were ‘disappointed’ as the Kharge-led committee had discarded the volume of documents that they had submitted to show that they had the maximum following among the INTUC members. While Dubey’s base is mostly around Jharkhand and the adjoining states and regions, Reddy, 92, holds sway in Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring states. According to sources, the elevation of Kharge as the party national president played a key role in this internal dispute being resolved in favour of Reddy.
After multiple media reports last year mentioned about how the INTUC dispute was harming the party’s electoral plans, Sonia Gandhi stepped in and called both the warring factions to Delhi and asked them to settle the matter as soon as possible while constituting the two-member committee. According to both the factions, INTUC impacts voting patterns in at least 95-100 Lok Sabha seats across the country due to its combined membership, which they claim is about 5.5 crore. However, this body has been unable to help the party in recent times due to the factionalism it has been experiencing.
The INTUC boasted of a formidable presence in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and the North Eastern states apart from the Southern belt that would galvanize the blue collar workers in favour of the Congress. However, the organisation lost much of its cadre and strength due to the infighting. The body was weakened even more due to the political losses suffered by Congress in the last one decade.