The CPI (Maoist) has asked all its committees to send "educated students and its intellectual comrades, who are true to the principles of revolution, to Left-wing conflict zones" as early as possible

KOLKATA: The CPI (Maoist) is looking for urban and intellectual youths to overcome its leadership crisis and educate their ground-level cadres, including tribals and Dalits, a politburo member of the banned outfit has said.

The party has failed to build its second-rung of leaders due to the lack of educated youths in its ranks, politburo member Prashanta Bose alias Kishanda said recently in the party's mouthpiece Lal Chingari Prakhashan.

The Maoist's search for intellectual youths comes amid a raging debate on the term 'urban naxal' following reports of growing influence of extremist ideology in urban areas.

The outfit's proscribed eastern regional bureau secretary admitted that with regard to building the next generation leadership, the CPI (Maoist) had failed to achieve much success.

"Right now creating the second-rung leadership is one of the biggest challenge," Bose said in an interview to the outfit's internal publication, a copy of which is with.

Bose's admission comes a year after the CPI (Maoist) launched a retirement scheme for its aged and physically unfit leaders to relieve them of underground activities and revamp the organisation.

"Except West Bengal, in areas of Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand we have created base among Dalits, tribals and the poor. So, in such a situation where the level of education is low, making them understand the real meaning of principles of Marxism is a tough job," the 72-year-old leader said.

Therefore, to train and educate tribals, Dalits and poor, the outfit needs several revolutionary, educated and intellectual comrades, he said.

"It needs lot of determination to train and educate Dalit and poor cadres of our party. The number of educated cadres in war zones is very less," Bose said.

These are the big challenges the organisation is facing in preparing its cadres politically, he said.

The CPI (Maoist) has asked all its committees to send "educated students and its intellectual comrades, who are true to the principles of revolution, to Left-wing conflict zones" as early as possible, Bose said.

"We are confident that we will be able to get such educated, young and dynamic comrades very soon, who will enable us to start building a good third and second generation leadership in the party," Bose said.

He said though the outfit had prepared an organisational and political document along with a training manual for next generation leaders, it has not been able to implement it at the ground level.

The party has expanded its base mostly in tribal and backward areas of states such as Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam, but cadres lack of proper education, and this is a problem, Bose said.

In a three-page resolution and circular adopted by the CPI (Maoist) central committee last year, the outfit said leaders unable fulfil their responsibilities should be relieved by their respective committees and given work according to their capacity.

But, according to sources, this particular decision has created a vacuum in the mid and senior level leadership.

Most of the top brass of the CPI (Maoist) are above 60 years.

General secretary Ganapathy (Mupalla Laxman Rao) is 67 years old, Bose 72 and central military commission chief Vasavaraj is 62. Sonu, in-charge of the Maoist headquarters of Dandakaranya, and Anand, who heads the central regional bureau, are 60 years old.

The crisis in the banned outfit might be true as as most of its top leaders have been either killed or arrested, a senior West Bengal Police officer, who had closely monitored the Maoist insurgency in the state from 2008 till the death of politburo member Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji in November 2011.

"This is true that they are facing a leadership crisis. But the fact is their call to the educated youth will not bear any result as the current generation might not be interested in leading a life of a guerrilla fighter in jungles," the officer told.

He said it takes at least 15-20 years for a ground-level cadre to become a Maoist leader through experience in jungle warfare, and political and ideological grooming.

"Most of the ground-level cadres of the Maoist are either uneducated or have very less education so it is not possible for them to take the baton of leadership," he said.