Decrying the election system in the country, the CPI (Maoist) has officially boycotted the coming Assembly election in Chhattisgarh. Describing elections as a “big lie” the banned outfit has “appealed” to the voters to “boycott the poll” and support the alternative government of the Maoists in Dandakarnya – the 40,000-square kilometre area spread across central India – region and other States. The Maoist communiqué, dated October 10, signed by the spokesperson of the party in Dandakarnya, Gudsa Usendi, was released on Tuesday.

While asking the residents of Dandakarnya to boycott the poll, the rebels have not clearly indicated (in the release) if they are going to punish or impose any penalty on the electors, if they vote. Interestingly, in 2011, in the West Bengal Assembly election, while giving a boycott call, the Maoists made sure that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won in areas partly dominated by the CPI-Maoist, in the western part of the State. In fact, the slain Maoist leader, Kishenji, openly declared his support for Mamata Banerjee, the chief of TMC, before the 2011 elections. As a result, the TMC and its allies won seven of the 14 seats in the Maoist areas, previously always won by the CPI(Marxist) (CPI-M).

May stop BJP run

Observers believe that if the Maoists, who are clearly not averse to elections as witnessed in the West Bengal poll, encourage the locals to vote freely, it may create severe problems for the ruling party in Chhattisgarh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 11 out of 12 seats in partially Maoist controlled districts of south Chhattisgarh in the last election, which finally defeated the main opposition, Congress. It is believed, if the Maoists allow a “free election” in areas controlled by them, like in West Bengal, the rebels may actually spoil the BJP’s dream to complete a hat-trick in Chhattisgarh.

But since the Maoists’ experiment with the TMC failed, it remains to be seen whether the rebels adopt a Bengal-formula to help the opposition in Chhattisgarh or prefer to remain neutral.