India: It’s people’s right to boycott elections: Maoist leader

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It's people's right to boycott elections: Maoist leader
CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary Ramanna speaks on the party’s stand on the Chhattisgarh assembly elections.
CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary Ramanna speaks on the party’s stand on the Chhattisgarh assembly elections and justifies the May 25 attack on Congress leaders that killed Mahendra Karma and V C Shukla among others.

Q: Why have you appealed for election boycott? A: As usual, we have appealed to people to boycott the elections because they are a farce. Elections only renew five-year tenures of loot and torture by the elected representative in the present system. Our target is to change this system from the root and establish a people-centric society and that is not possible through elections.

Q: Will the poll boycott be violent this time too? A: This does not depend on our saying anything. Like always, this time too, the government has deployed a huge a number of security forces in the name of conducting free and fair elections, which are already exploiting and torturing people. Attacks on villages in the name of search operations, arrests, beating up people, fake encounters are consistently on. It is important to resist such acts. Therefore, I can only say that when the government tries to defuse our poll-boycott movement through crackdown on the people, then there will certainly be a counter to it. Continue reading

Koraput, India: Political candidates wary of unappreciative tribals, stay indoors, blame Maoist boycott call

The Times of India:  “Maoist fear keeps candidates indoors in Malkangiri” — February 2, 2012

KORAPUT: Electioneering is yet to pick up pace in Malkangiri district with Maoist fear preventing candidates from coming out of their houses in remote areas.

The fear is understandable as it comes in the backdrop of extremist posters and banners asking villagers to boycott the poll process in protest against the state government’s alleged apathy towards development of tribals. But the Red rebels have not issued any threats to candidates.

Sources said campaigning for the rural polls is yet to gain momentum in several Maoist-hit areas of Malkangiri, particularly Poplur, Kurmanur, Manyakonda, Pusuguda, Kalimela, Chitrakonda and Motu gram panchayats. The first phase polls are on February 11.

“Though we have filed nominations, we live under the constant fear of Maoists. We don’t want endanger our lives by campaigning in interior areas because the Red rebels have already given a poll boycott call. We are limiting our campaigning to safer areas of the district,” said a zilla parishad candidate. Continue reading