Ex-Maoist ideologue Gaddar floats new political party in Telangana


Hyderabad, June 21 (IANS) Former Maoist ideologue and revolutionary balladeer Gaddar on Wednesday announced that he will float a new party namely Gaddar Praja Party.

He submitted an application with the Election Commission of India in New Delhi for the registration of the party. The development comes a few months before Telangana Assembly elections.

Gaddar told media persons that it will be a people’s party. “Since right to live itself is endangered, our party will fight to safeguard this basic right guaranteed by the Constitution of India,” he said.

Gaddar said people’s flag and agenda will be the party’s flag and agenda.

Replying to a query, he said he will contest elections. He, however, said the constituency will be decided by the party. “When I was fighting as an individual, I had said that I would contest against KCR but now there is a party and it will decide the constituency,” he said.

In October last year, Gaddar had joined Praja Shanti Party (PSP) of evangelist K. A. Paul and decided to campaign for the party in the Munugode Assembly by-election.

Soon after Gaddar announced formation of a separate party, Paul said he was suspending Gaddar from PSP.

Paul alleged that after joining PSP, Gaddar had struck a deal with Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President Revanth Reddy.

Gaddar, who severed his ties with the Maoists in 2017, enrolled himself as a voter the same year and for the first time in his life he cast his vote in 2018.

There were speculations in September last year that he will join the Congress party. Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Bhatti Vikramarka had requested him to join the party and play an active role in politics.

Gaddar’s son G.V. Surya Kiran had joined Congress in 2018. Gaddar too campaigned for Congress in a few constituencies but he did not contest the elections.

Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar, was a revolutionary singer and a sympathiser of Naxalism, right from his days at the Osmania University Engineering College during the Telangana agitation in 1969-70s.

He went underground in the 1980s and founded Jana Natya Mandali, a travelling theatre group. Known for his soulful, melodious folk songs with simple lyrics, Gaddar attracted people, especially youth, towards Maoist ideology.

The group later became the cultural wing of the CPI(ML) People’s War, which merged with Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in 2004 to form CPI(Maoist).

Gaddar had escaped an assassination bid in 1997. Unidentified men had shot him at his residence on the outskirts of Hyderabad. He had blamed police and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government for the assassination attempt.

In the first-ever direct talks between then Andhra Pradesh government and People’s War in 2004, Gaddar along with revolutionary writers and poets Varavara Rao and Kalyan Rao hadAacted as emissaries for the Maoists.

During his stint with the Maoist party, Gaddar strongly campaigned against electoral politics and called for a boycott of elections.

In 2017, he gave up Maoism and declared himself Ambedkarite.


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