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Naxal MLA rides on people power

india Updated: Apr 11, 2009 00:11 IST
Ashok Das
Naxal MLA rides on people power

He is a four-time MLA, having tasted defeat only once since 1983 but he does not own a car or a motor vehicle. He moves about the constituency — a large chunk of which still inaccessible by road — on a cycle. And he is a phenomenon.

Gummadi Narsaiah, leader of the CPI-ML(New Democracy) group of Naxalites is seeking election from Yellendu, a Scheduled Tribe seat for the sixth time in a row.

He is one Naxalite who does not believe in boycotting polls. That’s why Maoists hate him and have launched attacks on him to weaken his base in the backward constituency.

His Naxalite credentials also make him a suspect in the eyes of the establishment.

Why do people in this constituency dominated by Banjara and Koya tribes vote for him?

“He gets elected because the trappings of power have not conquered him yet. He still lives the way he used to 25 years ago. Some of the sarpanches travel in Toyota Innovas and Mahindra Scorpios but he has no car,” said B Naik, a shopkeeper at Yellandu town.

And that seemed to sum up the popular perception about the MLA on the cycle.