Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar zone have offered a “deal” — ‘pay us Rs. 1 lakh and get an ensured victory’ — to prospective candidates who will contest the upcoming urban body and the panchayat elections in the state.
The red brigades in their diktat conveyed to aspiring candidates that Rs. 1 lakh will not just get them the implicit nod (of red brigades) to their candidature but also the support during the ensuing elections.
A two-phased voting for the 154 urban bodies is scheduled on December 29 and 31.
The panchayat elections in Chhattisgarh are slated to be held in January next year. There are over 5,000 sarpanch to be elected from the Bastar region alone.
“So the Maoists apparently believe they can mobilise huge funds through extortion during such elections," a senior police officer in Bastar opined.
“It is purely an attempt by the Maoists to raise funds and gain economically during the local urban or panchayat elections,” former state election commissioner Sushil Trivedi told HT.
The Chhattisgarh state election commission appears upbeat since there is no boycott call given by outlawed CPI (Maoist) so far for the local body elections.
However, for security reasons the polling in seven districts of Bastar region — Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Kanker, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijpaur urban bodies will be held from 7am to 3pm, whereas the polling in other urban bodies will be held from 8am to 5pm.