In the backdrop of a boycott call given by the CPI (Maoist), the Centre on Monday said that over 300 companies of Central paramilitary forces would be placed at the disposal of the Election Commission for ensuring a free and fair Assembly elections in Jharkhand.

“Ministry of Home Affairs would like to assure all voters in Jharkhand that they should have no concerns about security and they will be able to exercise their franchise freely and fearlessly,” the Home Ministry said in a statement here.

Elections to put in place 81-member State legislature in Jharkhand will be spread over five phases, beginning November 25 and concluding on December 18.

Taking cognisance of recent statements by the banned CPI (Maoist), the Home Ministry said the “threats are a piece with the threats held out in Jharkhand during Parliament elections in May this year.” It said that over 57 per cent of the electorate had voted in the Parliament elections, in a strong rebuff to the Maoists.

The statement noted that Maoists were opposed to parliamentary democracy and they regard elections as an attempt by “reactionary rulers … to refurbish the image of the rotten parliamentary system.” According to the Maoists, the Home Ministry statement said, there were no “virtuous people left in the parliamentary pigsty.”

Drawing attention to the threat of violence held out by the CPI (Maoist) leader Mallojulla Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji, the Home Ministry said that in a recent interview he had stated that the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) would be “targeted” during the elections. Similarly, Samar Jee alias Anmol, Secretary, Chhotanagpur zonal committee, warned that those who participate in the election process would be “punished” by the Maoists.

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