Two jailed Maoists to contest polls

March 26th, 2009 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, March 26 (IANS) Never mind that Maoists have given an election boycott call. Two jailed rebels in Jharkhand have decided to join the poll fray as candidates of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML).
The JMM will field Kamesahwar Baitha, a jailed Maoist rebel, from the reserved Palamau Lok Sabha seat. The CPI-ML has nominated another imprisoned Maoist guerrilla, Ranjan Yadav, from the Chatra constituency.

Baitha, who faces more than a dozen criminal cases, including murder, has been cooling his heels in Daltanganj jail for several years. The JMM does not have a strong base in Palamau.

Baitha had fought the Lok Sabha by-election unsuccessfully in 2006 from Palamau. However, he did come in on second position, losing to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Ghuran Ram by just 20,000 votes.

The CPI-ML candidate from Chatra, Ranjan Yadav, also faces more than six criminal cases, including one related to an attack on security personnel. Yadav is said to have a good hold on people in the area.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, three Maoist rebels had joined the poll fray but as independents. This time, the jailed Maoists are being fielded by mainstream parties even as the banned group, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has given a call to boycott elections.

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