With as many as 11 Lok Sabha seats going to the polls on Thursday in Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh, the rebels have announced a boycott of elections refraining people from exercising their franchise. Ironically, Maoism is not a poll issue in the state either for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) or for the Congress, which have ignored the issue throughout entire electioneering.
The Maoists rebels, who run a de facto administration in the state’s southern Bastar region, comprising about 40,000 sq km of area and five districts, have reportedly threatened to chop off hands of those who defy the boycott and go to vote.
A political analyst said that it’s surprising that political parties in the state that claim to be serious of finding a permanent solution to the Maoist problem have failed to even raise the issue during poll campaigning.
The ruling BJP has confined its campaign to achievements of state government and step motherly treatment of central government while Congress is counting on corruption by the BJP state government.
“It’s true that Maoism issue skipped the poll campaign agenda. But we have focused on development and have sought votes on the basis of performance and welfare works of the state government,” informed senior BJP leader and state cabinet minister Brijmohan Agrawal.
Congress state general secretary Ramesh Varlyani said: “Maoism is a big issue in the state but it did not figure much in my party’s poll campaign as the state government has taken the corruption to a saturation level and we are trying to expose the corrupt BJP government before the voters.”