Even as senior AAP leader, Prashant Bhushan, has offered an olive branch to the Maoists to shun insurgency and enter mainstream by joining Aam Aadmi Party, the security establishment at the Centre is confident that Maoism is ebbing very fast and may end as force to reckon within a few months.
Senior officials of the security agencies claim that they see a silver lining in the recent surrender of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) spokesperson Gumudavelli Venkatakrishna Prasad aka Gudsa Usendi before the Andhra Police.
“I will not be surprised if in the very near future more senior Maoist leaders surrender. We are getting feelers to that effect. There is an utter sense of despondency in the higher ranks of the CPI (Maoist) leadership as they are unable to make new forays and, at the same time, are losing out strongholds in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha,” confided MA Ganapathy, joint secretary (Naxal Management) in the Union home ministry. A senior official said top Maoist leader Ganapathy was also expected to give up,
The unprecedented polling percentage in the Maoist strongholds like Bijapur, Konta, Kondagaon and Dantewada during Chhattisgarh elections despite the diktat not to vote was a clear signal that tribals are tired of their ideology and killings and want to enter democratic process, the official added.
Other officials dealing with the Maoist insurgency in the security establishment claim that the base of the Maoist supporters in the urban middle class is shrinking fast.
They also feel that the emergence of party like AAP has given voice to the working class that is most vulnerable to fall to the Maoist propaganda and AAP has acted like a pressure valve to let off the steam that was building up.
“The message ‘what should I do now?’, purportedly left by GN Saibaba for the central leadership in the mail box, is a giveaway that the Maoist fronts in the urban are urban centres are getting hapless,” said a security agency official.
For the Centre, among all the options to defeat the Maoists, the best is to effect surrender by the top leadership. “This is the most cost effective and workable, as it breaks the morale of the cadre and other leaders. The maximum the state needs to spend on the surrender and rehabilitation of a top Maoist leader belonging to the politburo, central committee, central military commission or the zonal committee is anywhere between Rs20 lakh and Rs50 lakh. This is nothing in terms of what the State spends on the security infrastructure,” said an official.
Another vital pointer that signifies steady collapse of the Maoist movement is the increasing chasm between the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and the People’s War Group (PWG) factions of the CPI (Maoist), claim security officials.
“The MCC and the PWG are no more acting in unison. In many instances, we have seen that they were critical of each other’s policies and methods. Within these two major groups, factions are splitting because of lack direction by the leadership that has already reduced to a bare minimum.
Both the politbuo and the central committee of the CPI (Maoist) are close to one third of their actual strength due to arrests, killings and surrenders. As per our information, the party has not been able to hold their Congress to infuse new blood in the leadership,” claim officials.
A Maoist functionary, not ready to come on record, refuted these theories when dna contacted him.
“This is typical propaganda that exploitative state regime employs to weaken the Maoist movement which is going strong. The current silence is tactical to avoid interceptions that lead to arrests and encounter killings. Usendi’s surrender was an aberration. I can assure you that nothing of this sort is going to happen again,” he said.