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