Some 40,000 security personnel have been deployed in the Bastar constituency to ensure a peaceful vote on Thursday amid the looming threat from the Maoists and a renewed call for boycott of elections.
Due to the Maoist threat, just one of Chhatisgarh's 11 constituencies goes to the polls on Thursday. According to the chief election officer of Chhattisgarh, Mr.Sunil Kujur, 238 polling booths have already been shifted from one location to the other due to “the Maoist threat”.
“Around 153 polling parties will be air lifted and two air ambulances will be kept ready in Raipur and Jagdalpur in case of any untoward incident” informed Mr.Kujur adding that 1407 booths have been identified as “critical polling centres”.
“Security personnel will be deployed in every booth and the surrounding areas will also be covered. Special arrangements have been made to rescue the polling parties safely “Mr.Arun Dev Goutam, the Inspector General (IG) of police, Bastar range told The Hindu.
The Maoist have called for “ an election boycott” and have appealed to the people of Dandakaranya to boycott “the 16th sham parliamentary elections and participate actively in the ongoing peoples' war to defeat Operation Green Hunt -- the unjust war on people”.
“The parliamentary democracy prevailing in our country is a fake one. All the parliamentary parties-Congress,BJP,CPI,CPIM,BSP,SP,Swabhiman Manch,the newly entered Aam Aadmi Party are to serve and protect the interests of ruling classes” said Mr.Gudsa Usendi, Spokesperson, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, Communist Party of India(Maoist) in a statement sent to media.
The region reported two major incidents on Wednesday in which three security personnel lost their lives and five were badly injured.
“Three commandos of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and three others were injured in a Maoist ambush near Chintagufa village Sukma district and two personnel were injured in pressure bomb explosions near Kikler village in Bijapur district” informed Mr.Goutam.
The Congress party has fielded Deepak Karma, the son of former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and the BJP has given ticket to Dinesh Kashyap with Aam Admi Party fielding tribal actives Soni Sori for the seat reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) .