Maoists call for boycott of general elections (Lead)

March 18th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna/Ranchi, March 18 (IANS) Maoist rebels have called for a boycott of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April and May, said a statement issued by the banned outfit Wednesday. The call was given by the Bihar-Jharkhand-Chattishgarh special area committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).
“After five years of misrule, India is again going for election. The present Lok Sabha election will empower the political parties to misrule the state for another five years,” a press release issued by the Maoists said.

“Another political mandate for five years will promote hunger and repression against common people the country. The policies of next government will only increase the unemployment,” the statement added.

The CPI-Maoist has also painted walls in some parts of Jharkhand asking people not to vote. Jharkhand police have found such wall paintings in Latehar and Palamau districts. They read: “Do not vote in election or be ready to face the consequences. Boycott elections.”

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections Maoist rebels had chopped off the thumbs of two voters in Jharkhand.

“We want to exercise our voting right but we feel threatened by the Maoist rebels. During every elections we live under fear,” said Ganesh Manjhi, a villager of Latehar district.

A police official involved in anti Maoist operations said: “Maoist rebels use pressure tactics in rural areas. The rural voters came out to vote despite boycott call of Maoist rebels 2004 Lok Sabha elections. The voting percentage was more than 55 percent in rural areas.”

The Maoists in Bihar have also warned petty contractors and middlemen to stay away from election related activities.

The rebels directed their cadres to mobilise public support to boycott the elections. CPI-Maoist spokesman Gopal stated that the government will deploy central paramilitary forces in large numbers to suppress the boycott call. “But we will give it a befitting reply this time.”

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