A Maoist diktat asking state Congress workers to either oppose a Centre-sponsored onslaught against the rebels or quit the party has left many running for cover.
Party workers are announcing their resignations in hordes after Tuesday’s massacre. Some leaders have asked for security in the wake of enhanced threat from the rebels.
The decree was issued two weeks ago by CPI-Maoist’s Bihar-Jharkhand-Orissa Border Area Regional Committee.
The death of Govardhan Mahali in Dalbhumgarh, 170 km from Ranchi, has also left many terrified. Mahali, an active member of the Congress at Majbhandar village, was shot by Maoists on March 30.
The impact is being largely felt in the Ghatsila assembly constituency, a Congress stronghold in East Singhbhum district, which shares its border with West Bengal.
“We do not support the ongoing
operation against innocent tribals, and have hence decided to disassociate ourselves from a party with anti-poor policies,” said Haradhan Das, former general secretary of Congress East Singhbhum district unit.
Nearly a month ago, security forces had launched a massive search and area domination operation in the jungles of Jharkhand and West Bengal simultaneously, which has now been expanded to nearby Orissa and Bihar states. Several Maoists have either been killed or arrested by the joint forces.
HT, in a survey in the rural hinterland of Ghatsila constituency, has discovered that the exodus from the Congress began early December, sometime around the assembly polls.
Maoist leader Kishanji had then criticised the prime minister and home minister for declaring Maoists the country’s ‘gravest threat’ and ‘extremists’.
Heads of several villages, who were once Congress loyalists, said they severed ties with the party ahead of the assembly polls and ensured three-time legislator Balmuchhu’s defeat.