As the police continued extensive combing operations in the Visakha Agency, Maoists continued to have their say in their pockets of influence as the polling date of July 23 for the panchayat elections in the Paderu Revenue Division is nearing.
Maoists took away nomination papers filed for two more panchayats and contestants for three more panchayats have withdrawn their nominations under the threat of Maoists in Chintapalli and G.K. Veedhi mandals on Wednesday.
Staff let off
A group of 15 Maoists went to Jamiguda where the nomination papers of Jamiguda and Jillelakota were kept.
They took away the nomination papers and money paid as deposit and made two polling officials march along with them for two kilometres.
The Maoists distributed the deposit money to the contestants and warned them not to participate in the elections. The polling staff was let off.
This was the second incident of Maoists taking away nomination papers of contestants. On July 14, they snatched away the nomination papers filed for the Nurmathi, Beera, Boyitili and Killamkota panchayats while they were being scrutinised.
The threat issued by Maoists not to participate in the elections continued and all those who filed nominations for sarpanch and ward member posts of Lothugedda and Thammagula panchayats in Chintapalli and Galikonda panchayat in G.K. Veedhi mandal have withdrawn from the contest, according to reports reaching here.
Earlier, no contestant dared to file nominations at Balapam and Kudumusara in Chintapalli mandal, Jerrela, Mondigedda and Vanchala in G.K. Veedhi mandal and Injira in Pedabayalu mandal.
There is a likelihood of more withdrawals in the interior areas.